Snow Shovelling Tips To Prevent Back Pain
That sharp pain you feel putting away the dishes on high shelf might be traced to lifting a shovel above your shoulder after this month’s snow. Snow shovelling can gift you with pain that keeps on giving, and sometimes won’t go away for weeks, or even months. Repeatedly raising the arm when shovelling snow and especially by lifting that snow-filled shovel above the level of your shoulder can lead to several common back injuries.
Here are some easy tips from Ontario’s chiropractors to help ensure a pain-free winter:
DON’T LET THE SNOW PILE UP
If the weather report calls for several days of snow, frequent shovelling will allow you to move smaller amounts of snow at once. It’s far less strenuous in the long run.
PICK THE RIGHT SHOVEL
Use a lightweight pusher-type shovel. If you are using a metal shovel, spray it with Teflon first, so snow won’t stick to it.
PUSH, DON’T THROW
Always push the snow to the side rather than throw it. That way you avoid lifting heavy shovelfuls of snow, and sudden twisting or turning movements.
BEND YOUR KNEES
As with any heavy object, you need to use your knees, leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting, while keeping your back straight.
TAKE A BREAK
If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a rest. Shake out your arms and legs. Stop shovelling immediately if you feel chest or back pain. If you have back pain that is severe or that persists for more than a day after shovelling, see a chiropractor. If you have chest pain that is severe, see a doctor immediately.