Snow shoveling, just like many other repetitive activities, can lead to muscle strain especially to the low back and shoulders. Here are some tips to help minimize injuries. Be sure to check out the full article here: https://www.choosept.com/resources/detail/snow-shoveling
1. Lift smaller loads instead of filling the shovel with large amounts of heavy snow. Bending the knees and using your legs to lift can help decrease strain on your back, especially if you are able to keep your back straight.
2. Choose a good shovel. For example, a shovel with a short shaft will require more bending, whereas a shovel with a shaft that is too long will also be detrimental. Choose a shovel with a shaft that allows you to maintain an erect posture while lifting.
3. Avoid twisting whenever possible. Instead, try turning and stepping toward where you are moving the snow. Also, remember point #1 about keeping the back straight and bending the knees as you shovel.
4. Take rest breaks. During these breaks, change positions by standing up straight or walking around.
5. Due to the forward bending nature of shoveling, doing some backward bending movements may be beneficial. To do this, try standing straight with your hands at your hips and extend backward for a few seconds if it is comfortable.
6. If you or someone you know is dealing with back pain, make an appointment to speak with a physical therapist. At HOPE Physical Therapy & Wellness, our goal is to help you do what you need to do without pain. As more snow approaches, give us a call to schedule an evaluation to determine what you may need to minimize pain this Winter.