How to Shovel Snow to Avoid Lower Back Pain
It’s no mystery that regions within the United States receives a ton of snow each year, with January being the snowiest month of the year. Cities can see an average of two feet of snow over one month. Most homeowners will need to clear the snow themselves from their sidewalks and driveways.
Improperly shoveling snow sends thousands of people to the emergency room each year. Not knowing the correct technique for how to shovel snow can lead to low back strain, muscle strain, spinal fractures, or disc damage.
There are ways to avoid any low back injuries by adjusting your form.
Tips on How to Shovel Snow
Having an ergonomic shovel with a curved handle will help you with the process, but you will need to have correct posture while shoveling.
1. Have the Correct Hand Placement
Place one of your hands on the shovel handle and your other one 12 inches lower. That will help your back stay stabilized and straight. Don’t put your hands too close together as that will make it more difficult to lift the snow.
2. Execute the Proper Form
Your feet need to be about shoulder width apart with knees slightly bent. Tilt your hips forward slightly while you flatten your back. Lift the snow with your leg muscles, not with your back.
Don’t twist your body back and forth to dump the snow. Excessive twisting is what causes strain on the discs in your lower back, leading to disc rupture and herniation.
Shoveling snow for extended lengths of time can lead to losing proper form, causing damage to ligaments, and muscle fatigue. Take breaks while you shovel so you don’t overextend yourself.
3. Dump the Snow Properly
Dump the snow directly in front of you so you’re not twisting your body. If that isn’t an option, pivot your entire body in the direction you want to go. Don’t twist your spine or throw snow over your shoulder.
Contact Destination Wellness Today
Practicing proper techniques when you shovel snow will help you avoid pain and injuries. If you are experiencing any low back pain, make an appointment with our office. Our highly trained staff at Destination Wellness Center will evaluate your symptoms, providing you with the proper chiropractic care to help you on the road to recovery.
Contact us or call our office today at (732) 780-7333.