Shoveling is Risky to Low Backs

Shoveling snow can wreak havoc on the
musculoskeletal system. The American
Chiropractic Association suggests
the following tips for “exercise” of the
snow shoveling variety:

  • If you must shovel snow, be careful. Listen to weather forecasts so you can rise early and have
    time to shovel before work.

  • Layer clothing to keep your muscles warm and flexible.

  • Shoveling can strain "de-conditioned" muscles between your shoulders, in your upper back,
    lower back, buttocks and legs. So, do some warm-up stretching before you grab that shovel.

  • When you do shovel, push the snow straight ahead. Don't try to throw it. Walk it to the snow
    bank. Avoid sudden twisting and turning motions.

  • Bend your knees to lift when shoveling. Let the muscles of your legs and arms do the work, not
    your back.

  • Take frequent rest breaks to take the strain off your muscles. A fatigued body asks for injury.

  • Stop if you feel chest pain, or get really tired or have shortness of breath. You may need
    immediate professional help.

Winter Tip #1