We have gotten our fair share of snowfalls in Dover Delaware this year and nobody knows exactly when the snow days will end. For many people, shoveling snow this will result in lower back pain. Shovelling snow is one of the most common causes of lower back pain in the winter months. However, this type of injury is preventable if you know the correct ways to remove snow. Obviously the easiest remedy would be using a snow blower. However, if you are like most of us and you don’t have access to a snow blower, here are some back saving tips to safely shovel snow with out causing injuries to your back.
Pick the Right Shovel
Choosing the right shovel for the job is the first step. The length and direction of the handle matter, as well as the weight of the shovel. An ergonomic snow shovel can help take some of the effort out of snow removal chores.
At some point in your snow shoveling life, you’ve likely just thrown on a jacket and gloves and run out the door with you shovel in hand. This is not a good idea because shovelling puts a large physical stress on your body. It’s great exercise and must be treated as such. Cold, tight muscles are more prone to injury than warmed up, flexible muscles. Do your lower back a favor by warming up for five to ten minutes before shoveling or any strenuous activity
Little attention is focused on technique yet this is largely what’ll bite folks in the back, if you will.
Bend your knees and hips not your back
Push the snow rather than lifting as much as possible
Face forward toward the pile of snow you’re picking up/moving from
Turn your entire body when dumping snow off to another area (do not just turn/twist your back or your hips)
While lifting, have one hand as close as possible to the snow bucket/blade and keep it as close to your body as possible
Be aware of the time and take breaks. It’s easy to get entirely caught up in simply finishing the job and grinding straight through the task. This isn’t the healthiest approach.
Every 15 minutes take a breather
If it’s a big job, break it into a couple different shifts of shoveling
Following these tips during the winter months will decrease the chances of developing new back problems or worsening your lower back pain while shoveling, and hopefully make your winter a healthier and more enjoyable experience. Regular chiropractic care in Dover Delaware helps your spine remain healthy and also reduces the chance of re-injury.
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