Chiropractic Health & Wellness Blog

How to Shovel Snow Without Hurting Your Back

January 25, 2016
Have you ever gone out to shovel your Minneapolis drive or walkway, only to feel your back ache as a result? If so, you aren’t alone as statistics provided by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons indicate that more than 200,000 people are injured in the U.S. annually as a result of trying to get rid of snow and ice by hand. 

Does this mean that you are stuck with it until spring arrives if you want to keep your back in good health? Of course not. While you can’t always avoid injury 100 percent of the time, there is a way to shovel snow that is better for your spine and all of the muscles and soft tissues that surround it.

Proper Snow Shoveling Technique
Ideally, protecting your back starts before you even pick up a snow shovel. Because moving snow from one area to another is rather physical in nature, you want to make sure your muscles are warmed up and ready to work. One way to do this is to walk in place or on a treadmill for a few minutes. If you have a stationary bike or some other cardiovascular exercise equipment, that would work too.
Once you’re ready to go outside and start moving the white stuff, using proper technique can save you from a lot of discomfort and low back pain.

The safest method, according to the experts at Spine-health, involves:
  • Directly facing the snow or ice you intend to move.
  • Putting one hand on the handle of the shovel and the other as close to the shovel itself as possible.
  • Instead of bending your back to pick it up, bend at the hips first and then the knees, utilizing your leg muscles to do a majority of the work.
  • When you go to move the snow, move your entire body in the new direction versus just twisting your back.
  • Walk the shovel of snow or ice to the new location and drop it, minimizing injury from heaving or throwing it.

Do these five things and you’ll reduce your risk of back injury while getting rid of the snow and ice we commonly get in the Minneapolis area. Also, make sure you come in for your regular chiropractic visits too and the staff at Lyn Lake Chiropractic will do our best to keep you back pain free! Minneapolis Chiropractor at Lyn Lake Chiropractic 612-879-8000
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