Shoveling 101; The Basics

Whether we like it or not, it's that time of year again; The snow has started falling! While it may be pretty in the beginning, the work will soon begin. It's time to dig out those shovels and start working. Whether we are shoveling our whole driveway, or just a path to the door way, our backs are put to the test as we lift that heavy snow.

Proper form as you shovel can make a world of difference. Over 10,000 people end up in the emergency room each year with snow shoveling injuries! Don't let yourself be one of them. Following these tips to protect your spine and remember that getting regular Chiropractic care can help keep you and your back safe this winter.

From Palmer Clinic, Dr. Dave Juehring shares  how to keep your back healthy while shoveling.

  • Wear slip resistant shoes and layer clothing.
     
  • Stretch and move around a bit before starting, making sure you're warmed up and ready to go. It's much easier to strain and injure cold muscles.
     
  • Try not to wait til the snowfall ends. Clear every few inches if you can so it's not as heavy and less strain.
     
  • If you can, push snow, don't lift it. If you do need to lift make sure it's a weight you can handle. For heavy/wet snow you may need to take smaller loads. The snow won't be moved any faster if you hurt yourself trying to move too much at once.
     
  • One of the most important things to remember is to not bend forward at the low back. Bend at the knees, keep your back straight, and lift with your legs. This method saves your body a lot of extra strain and possible injury! 
     
  • Stay hydrated. Shoveling is a workout; Take breaks as you need to!

Along with proper form, regular Chiropractic care can keep you pain free this winter. Chiropractic care ensure your spine is properly aligned allowing you to function fully and better prevent injury.

Think your back could use a tune-up as the snow starts falling? Call us today at (906) 523-7442 to schedule an appointment!

 

Resources:

http://elliothospital.org/_wmur/Articles/Shoveling%20Techniques.pdf

http://www.sima.org/discover-sima/public-safety/safety-tips/safe-snow-shoveling

http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/cirp-snow-shoveling