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It’s that time of year again when the white blankets of snow descend upon Edmonton transforming our city into a winter wonderland. But along with the beauty of snow comes a potential hazard we should all be mindful of: back pain when shovelling snow. Today I’m here to share some invaluable tips on how to prevent back pain when shovelling snow.
Understanding the risk factors
Before we dive into the solutions, let’s understand the factors that contribute to back pain when shovelling snow. First and foremost, if you’re already out of shape you’re way more likely to get low back pain when shovelling snow. Secondly, the cold weather can make our muscles stiff and less pliable. Thirdly, improper shovelling techniques, such as bending at the waist, can put immense strain on your back. Finally, trying to move heavy, wet snow can lead to overexertion. Recognizing these risk factors is the first step in preventing back pain when shovelling snow.
Get in shape to prevent back pain when shovelling
This is the most important tip I can give you. The chances of you getting back pain when shovelling are way less if you stay active regularly through the whole year. You should be able to go outside and shovel without worrying about your back. As well, getting your spine adjusted regularly can help prevent back pain. Start being proactive versus reactive.
Below are some other tips for you to help prevent back pain when shovelling.
Pre-shovelling warm-up and stretching
Preparing your body before tackling the snow is crucial. Begin with a quick warm-up, such as a brisk walk or light jumping jacks. Dynamic stretching can also help, targeting key muscle groups like your hamstrings and lower back. Warming up not only prevents injuries but also enhances your overall efficiency when shoveling.
Shovelling snow with proper technique to prevent back pain
One of the most effective ways to prevent back pain when shoveling snow is by using the right technique. Start by maintaining a neutral spine position, keeping your back straight. Bend at your hips and knees, not your waist, to reduce the strain on your lower back. When lifting snow, engage your leg and core muscles, not your back.
Choosing the right shovel to prevent back pain when shovelling snow
Selecting the right shovel can make a world of difference in preventing back pain. Opt for an ergonomic shovel with a curved handle to reduce bending and twisting. Look for one with a lightweight yet sturdy design. The right shovel can greatly ease the physical demands of snow removal and reduce the risk of back strain.
Your efforts to prevent back pain shouldn’t stop once the snow is cleared. After shovelling, it’s essential to care for your back properly. Consider a hot bath to soothe any muscle soreness. Gentle stretches, particularly those targeting the lower back and hamstrings, can help maintain flexibility and prevent stiffness. Always listen to your body and provide it with the care it deserves.
See you chiropractor for help with back pain or other injuries you may get after shovelling.
In the grand scheme of things, snow shovelling is a seasonal chore that can quickly lead to unnecessary back pain if not approached properly. By getting yourself and your spine in shape, warming up, using the proper technique, selecting the right shovel, and providing post-shovelling care, you can effectively prevent back pain when shovelling snow. Remember, your spinal health matters year-round, so embrace these tips and enjoy a pain-free winter!
If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, Dr. Dean Collins, your dedicated chiropractor in Edmonton, Alberta. Stay safe and keep your back in tip-top shape!
For more information on how chiropractic care can help you and your family read Dr. Collins’ comprehensive guide to chiropractic care: Chiropractic Care for Everyone