With the winter weather fast approaching, snow shoveling is inevitable. According to health care professionals, snow shoveling is one of the leading causes of back pain during the winter months. Shoveling out of that first storm doesn’t have to leave your back stiff, sore and in pain. Here are a few useful tips to prevent back, neck and shoulder pain while clearing the snow.
Before you begin:
- Drink plenty of water. Dehydration is just as possible during the winter as in the summer, especially when you are physically active
- Wear proper footwear and clothing to keep you warm and dry. Your footwear should also provide adequate grip during the slippery winter months.
- Use a lightweight, push-style shovel. Using a shovel with a smaller blade will require you to lift less snow, and an ergonomically correct shovel with a curved handle will help to prevent injury and fatigue
- Before beginning snow removal, warm up for 5-10 minutes to move your joints and increase circulation.
Where to begin?:
- Start slow and work at a comfortable pace.
- Remember to push the snow and avoid lifting or throwing it. If you must lift it, hold the shovel close to your body while standing with your feet shoulder width apart for balance and bend with your knees, not your back. Tighten your stomach muscles while lifting, and avoid twisting or turning. If possible, walk and dump the snow rather than throwing it.
- If the snow is deep or heavy shovel small amounts a at a time.
- If the ground is icy, throw down salt or sand to increase your traction.
- Shovel early and often. Don’t forget that new snow is lighter than packed or partially melted snow
- Take frequent breaks. If you are experiencing back pain, stop immediately and contact your chiropractor if is it severe or persists
Visit us at ARC Health & Wellness, Chiropractor in North York to recieve solutions to prevent low back pain. Located between Weston Road and Jane Street on Finch Aenue West, call us to book an appointment or ask any questions. Call 647-504-4213 or visit us at www.arc-health.com.