Snow Shoveling & Back Pain
Winter is upon us and that typically means snow and its removal. For many, this means bundling up and grabbing the old snow shovel and hitting the driveway. Unfortunately, for many, snow shoveling is a common cause of back pain. Thankfully, there are some simple things you can do to help prevent injuring your back.
Use The Right Shovel
First, pick the right shovel. Using an ergonomic snow shovel can be one of the greatest prevents of low back pain when shoveling snow. Pick a shovel that has a curved or bent handle. This helps keep you from bending over as far when shoveling. Also, look for a lightweight shovel.
Second, warm up! While you may be in a hurry, a few minutes of stretching can help save you the time of recuperation!
Use Proper Lifting Techniques
Third, use the proper technique. Just as you should use proper lifting techniques lifting heavy items while working, you should use these same techniques when shoveling snow.
- Push the snow as much as possible
- When you lift, face forward
- bend at the hips and not the low back
- Avoid lifting and twisting
- Avoid full shovels of heavy snow.
- Avoid stretching out when throwing the snow.
- Keep the weight of the load close to the body
Take It Easy
Fourth, pace yourself. Don’t try to do it all at once, especially if it is a heavy snow. Work a little at a time or if a lot of snow is predicted, shovel and inch or two as it falls. The point is, if you are not used to this type of work, you can injure yourself.
Watch Your Step
Fifth, make sure of your footing. Obviously, snow can be slippery and increase your chances of slipping and falling. Make sure you have good boots on and if necessary spreads some sand or rock salt as you work.