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Posted: 3/20/2017 6:29:49 PM EDT
I have a student that is new to NV. He purchased a PVS-14 a few months ago and has been fiddling with it. He just got his helmet yesterday and, after wearing it around the house for an extended period with just the RHNO II installed (no MNVD) he has symptoms of significant neck strain. Once his cover is installed with his counterweight pouch we will be able to counter the weight of the PVS-14 but I fear that if he is having trouble with only the RHNO II installed that he is doomed once he adds the MNVD.

He is 55 years old but has no known chronic condition with his neck. The problem only manifested after adding some mass to his head.

The helmet is a non-ballistic FAST pattern bump helmet.

Do any of you have neck strain issues out of the ordinary? If so, do you have any pointers aside from the obvious counterweighting? (Which will be done ASAP.)
Link Posted: 3/20/2017 6:44:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/20/2017 7:07:48 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By TNVC_Sam:
Its foreign to alot of people, most folks dont wear helmets regularly, in short with some time under the helmet and NODS he will get stronger and his neck pain should deminish in time. I would not worry about it unless it persists after a month or so. He can always consult a doctor or a sports medicine specialist in the meantime if he wants a medical assessment.

Take it slow, and put an ice pack on it and pop an aspirin in the short term.
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Agreed. Whenever football season would roll around some would struggle with the helmet weight for a little while. After a few weeks it was not an issue. Or their neck was sore from getting hit all the time? Either or.
Link Posted: 3/20/2017 8:17:41 PM EDT
Yeah, when I have not ridden my motorcycle for a while I always get neck strain from the wind buffeting my naked bike, it is an isometric excerise to hold your head steady against the force, he'll get over it with some practice and perhaps a good counterweight.
Link Posted: 3/20/2017 8:52:30 PM EDT
Could the back strap, the dial part, be adjusted too low for his neck? I would assume you have tried everything adjustment wise, but knowing how little a FAST bump weighs I thought bringing this up just in case.
Link Posted: 3/20/2017 8:53:47 PM EDT
Same thing happened to me with my setup initially. I just wore it for 15 minutes or so every night, tweaked positioning of the stuff on the helmet, and eventually built the strength.

Suggest he only go to the mailbox when it's dark, so he can get accustomed to the weight while doing something else. That way he doesn't focus on the weight.
Link Posted: 3/21/2017 12:19:50 AM EDT
Thanks for the replies, guys. You give me some hope. This is the worst case I've ever seen so I guess I'll be pressed to make sure I get all of the adjustments done perfectly by the book.

He's not a sissy, he's just been living easy for too long. He rode a fishing boat across the Pacific from Vietnam in 1974 and enlisted with Uncle Sam at his earliest opportunity as a thank you for refuge from the commies.
Link Posted: 3/21/2017 5:59:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/21/2017 6:38:16 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Lowdown3:
Using an ACH *for me personally* I've never felt the need for a counterweight and hours in the helmet/NV setup were not an issue.

Then I got some other helmet to try, some no name IIIA fast type helmet. Wore that time before last we went out at night. Had the worst neck strain I've ever experienced in a helmet. Pretty sure it was adjusted o.k. as I used it during the day multiple times previously.

And I've grappled most of my life, so I feel like I have a little neck strength.

Long story short, maybe have him try another helmet. IDK WTH the deal was with that helmet I used, I will try it again another time but for now will continue with the ACH.
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Point taken. I'll throw an ACH on him and see how he does.

If you come to a conclusion regarding your issue with the IIIA FAST helmet then I'd like to hear it.

I've seen people that are new to helmets have trouble with the FAST. I have seen people with large gaps in training have trouble with the FAST. You are only the second experienced user I have heard complain about the FAST. I suspect the student's gap in training first but I am going over the chinstrap/liner with a fine tooth comb. You are making me think that there is a geometry issue that does not affect all of us equally.
Link Posted: 3/21/2017 6:44:24 PM EDT
I have him on a program:

10 minutes per day with the RHNO II only for one week.

15 minutes per day with the RHNO II only for one week.

10 minutes every other day with the PVS-14 on the RHNO II with counterweight for one week.

15 minutes every other day with the PVS-14 on the RHNO II with counterweight for one week.

... and take it from there. We'll see how it goes from there.
Link Posted: 3/21/2017 10:21:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/22/2017 2:48:27 AM EDT
While I cannot speak for the specifics of the particular knock-off(s) being used in this thread--the primary issue I've seen with folks who have trouble with the Ops-Core-style dial liner is improper adjustment for their head of the rear straps/nape.

I've brought this up multiple times before, but on an authentic Ops-Core, there's actually a pretty wide range of adjustment in the rear straps to allow the helmet to be fitted to the individual user's head--I'm not talking about strap length, or the dial and fitband itself--but the actual nape can be adjusted for height and position.

Most of the time I find when people complain about the fit and comfort of a FAST, it turns out they've never adjusted the nape to the shape of their own heads--they're often either borrowing someone else's helmet, or simply took the thing out of the box, tightened the straps, and were never able to get comfortable. To be fair, adjusting the nape is kind of a pain, as you need to remove or at least loosen the rear suspension screws, which hold on the fit-band, straps, and ARC rails, and you have to fiddle and fit the helmet to your head, and then try not to move them while you tighten the screws back down. This is not a procedure that most folks, even experienced military helmet wearers are used to, because most modern 4-point suspensions don't have this kind of adjustment--unlike most suspensions that have napes, the Ops-Core nape is padded, but rigid in design, unlike the soft, conforming napes that most folks are used to, which makes placement of the rigid nape much more critical.

While I'm sure there will still be some people who just don't find the FAST comfortable, no matter how much they adjust them--I think most folks that complain about the comfort of their Ops-Cores could solve the issue simply by properly adjusting the helmet.

A maladjusted helmet may be fine during the day, and/or without anything mounted to it--even while poorly adjusted, and especially with a lightweight bump helmet, it simply might not be as noticeable, and the nape itself may "adjust itself" to the wearer's head to conform to its placement. With a NOD mounted to the front, it becomes a different matter entirely--the weight up front pulling the helmet forward and down puts a lot of pressure on the nape for stability--meaning that the weight up front will driving the nape into the wearer's skull in entirely the wrong place for their head, and thereby being exceedingly uncomfortable. Needless to say, while I personally am a fan of Ops-Core helmets--I too have worn a poorly adjusted one, and if it's not adjusted right--it's not fun.

One the one hand, I've never heard of the weight of just a mount suddenly causing issues because of weight, when the wear of the helmet did not--but I suppose it is possible that again, with a lightweight bump, the weight of the mount is enough to shift the helmet ever so slightly, and placing the nape in extremely uncomfortable position--one that can be exacerbated if it's a dial-liner, and the user is cranking down on the dial, "locking it in" in the most uncomfortable place possible.

Either way--my first thought would be to double check the fit and adjustment of the helmet.

~Augee
Link Posted: 3/22/2017 6:57:36 PM EDT
let him use a USGI skull crusher....after 15 minutes he won't be complaining about his neck at all

Link Posted: 3/22/2017 7:31:56 PM EDT
Living the easy life and then slapping a helmet on will cause neck strain for anyone. He's using muscles he hasn't used in a while so the more he wears the helmet the easier and less sore it'll be.
Link Posted: 3/22/2017 8:24:36 PM EDT
If the neck strain doesn't improve fairly rapidly then there is an underlying issue. Especially given his age.

Do you know more of his background? Has he ridden motorcycles for dozens of years? I ask because my dad has ridden for over 40 years and his neck is shot. Needs surgery. It wasn't just from the helmet but even a marginal amount of weight, over time, will cause issues.

I'd have him wear it MWF for two weeks. Start out at 20 minutes and work up. If the strain/pain is the same or worse it's MRI time.

I showed you the x-ray of my back. While not an expert I've been through the ringer. A million times. Tell him not to mess around if it doesn't get better.
Link Posted: 3/22/2017 9:11:25 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By NothingClever:
If the neck strain doesn't improve fairly rapidly then there is an underlying issue. Especially given his age.

Do you know more of his background? Has he ridden motorcycles for dozens of years? I ask because my dad has ridden for over 40 years and his neck is shot. Needs surgery. It wasn't just from the helmet but even a marginal amount of weight, over time, will cause issues.

I'd have him wear it MWF for two weeks. Start out at 20 minutes and work up. If the strain/pain is the same or worse it's MRI time.

I showed you the x-ray of my back. While not an expert I've been through the ringer. A million times. Tell him not to mess around if it doesn't get better.
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It does get better. He over did it and now we are pacing him a bit.
Link Posted: 3/22/2017 10:05:42 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By SOT_Solutions:
It does get better. He over did it and now we are pacing him a bit.
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Excellent. Don't want anyone to go through what I do.
Link Posted: 3/23/2017 9:22:07 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/23/2017 11:58:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/24/2017 10:08:45 AM EDT by AlmightyTallest]
May want to consider using a lighter weight facemask instead of a helmet if they are too heavy on the neck.
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