Introduction: Carrying heavy backpack loads is often associated with shoulder discomfort or pain, and with brachial plexus injuries underlying loss of sensorimotor functions that may hamper performance. A modular load carrying kit (Source Co., Israel) (S), in which a central component is a Dynamic Weight Distribution (DWD) system that allows the soldier to easily shift the weight from the shoulders to the hips was tested for its ability to alleviate the mechanical stresses exerted on the shoulder and impact on relevant physiological and biomechanical variables. Following a laboratory and a controlled field study, in which the S system was shown to be superior to the current Load Carrying Systems (LCS) from a biomechanics and functional perspective, we aimed to investigate the stresses and strains that develop in the soft tissues of the shoulder at the brachial plexus area while carrying a 30 kg backpack load.
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