Shoveling snow is never fun, but don’t make matters worse by injuring yourself. Back pain after shoveling snow is very common, but is preventable. Try these tips to makes things a little easier on your back, and be a lot happier.

  1. Warm up-Usually, you hop out of bed, throw on your winter clothes, and out the door you go. It’s important to remember, shoveling snow is a workout, and like any workout you should warm-up first, especially first thing in the morning. Stretch your lumbar spine, warm up your shoulders, do some squats to get your hips moving.
  2. Take your time– Take breaks if you need to. Switch sides to keep one side from wearing out or getting injured. A lot of injuries happen when people are in a hurry and lift with their back instead of using their legs.
  3. Ergonomic shovel– It might be time to upgrade that shovel, get an ergonomic shovel, with an offset handle to help lessen the strain on your back.
  4. Bend your knees– Keep a wide stance and don’t make your back do all the work, use your legs and you’ll be happier. Minimize the twisting, especially while lifting the snow.
  5. Keep the snow close– Keep the weighted shovel close to your body. The further away it gets the more the strain on your back.
  6. Push don’t lift– Its easier and requires less work for your back.
  7. Shovel more frequently– If the forecast calls for a lot of snow, try to get out multiple times to lessen your workload. If the snow is too deep, try removing it in layers instead of all at once.
  8. Get your Doctors blessing!  If you have any underlying health issues, especially cardiovascular, it’s important to get clearance from your Physician to make sure you are safe to shovel stuff. It is a very physically demanding activity and put a lot of strain on your heart.
  9. If these tips don’t help: a)Buy a snowblower b)Hire a kid looking to make $20 c)Bribe someone with cookies

Have a safe snow removal season, but if you do have any questions or aches and pain go see your Physical Therapist.