Shoveling Tips During Winter to Prevent Back Injury

As we now enter another Chicago winter, snow and ice have entered the Windy City affecting commuters, runners, and Chicagoans at large who will complain about the weather and how far away spring and/or summer seem. With the recent snowfall Chicago suffered, it is important when shoveling snow to utilize these tips to prevent injury and a likely trip to the chiropractor.

Shoveling snow is quite a strenuous activity and often, most people perform it incorrectly leading to injury. When shoveling snow, it is important to utilize your core muscles (abs, back, and pelvic floor) through proper breathing to support the lower back. Breathing through both your abdomen and chest is necessary to prevent injury to the spine or outside of the spine. Breathing properly tightens and stabilizes the trunk and lower back minimizing injury.

Often, when shoveling, one uses their back to do the work instead of a combined movement of using your hips, knees, and spine. One should consider bending their knees and hips more and avoid hingeing at your lower back. This places increased forces on your spine, discs, and muscles eventually leading to injury due to the overuse nature of this activity. Also, when shoveling snow, one should avoid twisting and bending through their spine due to the increased strain it places on these areas too. One should bend first facing the snow you are about to shovel followed by turning to either side to move it. This creates more efficiency (despite taking slightly more time), and protects your back and surrounding areas from injury.

These tips seem easy, but when you have snow to move, these tips will come in handy. If for some reason an injury occurred, reaching out to a chiropractor quickly will likely get this healed as they have a great deal of experience in treating snow related injuries. Chiropractors will improve mechanics, flexibility, and mobility quickly and give you a few exercises to prevent this from recurring. The sooner you act, the sooner you will feel better.

Stay warm and safe this Chicago winter.

Lincoln Park Chiropractic Brian Marion, DC, CCSP, ART, CKTP

2202 N. Lincoln Ave Chicago, IL 60614 (773) 248-2790


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