Snow and Back Pain

snow shovelling

Is snow causing aches in your shoulders, back and everywhere in between?

Dr. Karen and I were chatting just the other day about how the clinic always seems to be a bit busier after winter storms. And there’s usually a common culprit: snow shoveling!

Considering January is just getting started, we wanted to provide you with a few tricks to help manage any stiffness or pain you might experience while shoveling snow. Check out the videos to see good and bad lifting techniques in action!

  • Warm up your muscles! The easiest change can make the biggest difference – take a few minutes to move around or do some jumping jacks to get your muscles warmed up before you start.
  • Push, don’t lift! Pushing snow is a lot easier than any lifting so try to push whenever you can.
  • Lift light to lift right! I don’t know about you, but I’m not training to become a professional snow shoveler! Pushing and lifting smaller amounts of snow is easier on your body.
  • Pick a good shovel! Using a lightweight, push-style shovel puts less strain on your body. You may also consider using a smaller blade: these are usually lighter in weight and the smaller blade will force you to lift less snow.
  • Use a wide grip when lifting! This decreases the strain on your body.
  • Lift with your legs! Try to squat down and bend your knees when you have to lift, driving through your feet to stand. This decreases the strain on your low back.
  • Shove, don’t throw! Instead of twisting through your low back, push the handle through your hands to unload the snow.
  • Watch out for any ice! Using salt and sand can help to limit any nasty slips or falls.

Hopefully these tips can help you stay up and moving through the winter months. But if you start feeling discomfort or stiffness, we’re here to help you get back to moving with ease!

Video Demonstrations!

Shoveling Don’ts
Shoveling DO’s!