- Tara Albright DPT
Updated: May 5, 2021
The snow is flying and falling, which is making for a lot of manual labor for many people. Snow shoveling is one of the biggest injury causing activities in the winter months. Follow the tips below to help prevent injuries as you attempt clear the heavy, wet, and white stuff out of the way.
When shoveling avoid lifting large heavy loads of wet snow, but limiting the amount of snow that you put in your shovel. Shoveling is a repetitive activity, so heavy loads placed on our spine repetitively is a recipe for injury.
Use a shovel with a long shaft, which allows you to keep your back straight and posture a little more upright. Shovels with shorter shafts make you bend more, however shovel with a longer shaft make the weight of the snow at the end of it heavier due to the change in center of gravity. Snow shovels are not one size fits all so find one that works for you.
Avoid twisting in the spine to “toss” the snow. Our spines are not made for repetitive rotational forces being placed on it, so change the position of your feet to move the snow, instead of making your spine do all the work.
Taking breaks when shoveling is a must. Due to the constant bent over posture of snow shoveling it is important to stand upright every so often and walking around, even adding some gently back bends every so often to your snow shoveling routine can prevent a lot of hurt in the long run.
Hopefully these tips and tricks will keep you happy and injury free as you navigate thorough the chilly months. If you are currently experiencing pain and/or discomfort that are limiting your ability to function, please give us a call today and see how we can help. Please stay safe and enjoy this time of year!