Whether you struggle with chronic back pain or not, shoveling snow is a common cause of potential injuries. Fortunately, with some simple techniques and the right kind of shovel, this type of back pain can be prevented. The chiropractors at Chiropractic Associates of Platteville in Wisconsin share a few tips to safely shovel snow and save your back this winter.
3 Tips & Tricks for Preventing Back Pain This Winter
1. Warm Up Your Back Muscles
An important way to prevent injury during any physical activity is to warm up muscles beforehand for five or 10 minutes, and shoveling snow is no exception. Muscles that are tight are more injury-prone, so do a few jumping jacks or just walk or run in place to begin warming up your body. Once warm, target your back muscles by doing some stretches. Follow up with some hamstring, arm, and shoulder stretches to get your whole body limber and ready to go.
2. Buy an Ergonomic Shovel
It’s worth the money to get a shovel that will make the process of shoveling snow easier. Get one with a curved handle that is adjustable to your specific height. A chiropractor will warn against any repetitive bending or twisting motion, so do your back a favor and buy a shovel that is tall enough so that you won’t have to bend over repeatedly to reach the ground. Choose one with a blade that isn’t heavy since that will also reduce potential strain on your back and muscles.
3. Practice Shoveling Techniques That Are Back-Friendly
When possible, a chiropractor would recommend you bend at the hips rather than the back while shoveling. Keep your back as straight as possible during the whole process and avoid lifting the snow if you can. Push instead of lifting, and try to avoid a twisting motion while doing so. Turn your whole body to avoid the risk of tweaking your spine. Any lifting you have to do should be done with your leg muscles and not your back. Utilize these tips to help keep your back healthy and pain-free throughout the snowy season.
If your back is in pain from clearing snow out of your driveway, visit the Chiropractic Associates of Platteville in Grant County to get the relief you need. Their team of experts can treat a vast array of issues, including back, neck, and nerve pain. To keep your joints and spine in good health, schedule an appointment with the chiropractor today by calling (608) 348-3156. Visit their website to learn more about their team.