Canandaigua is among the many areas of upstate New York that experience serious snowfall—up to 66 inches per year. Therefore, the importance of correct form when you are shoveling snow cannot be stressed enough. You can avoid lower back pain and other issues such as spinal disc misalignments if you keep these tips in mind.
How to Prevent Pain When You Are Shoveling Snow This Winter
Warm up First & Wear the Right Gear
Go for a walk around the block, perform a few yoga moves, or do anything else that gets the blood circulating and your muscles warmed up. The looser your muscles are, the less likely they are to spasm and cramp during snow removal. You may want to apply a natural heating balm to sensitive areas such as your shoulders and lower back before you start to help your muscles stay warm.
Also, wear the proper clothing for cold weather activities, including a heavy jacket, hat, and gloves. Make sure you wear layers so that as you work and get warm you can take off a layer as needed.
Use the Correct Lifting Technique
Push rather than lift snow whenever it is possible and lift the powdery white stuff with your legs instead of your back. Ensure your feet and hips are square in front of the snow you intend to lift and pivot instead of twisting your body to remove it. Stick to light loads of snow and remember to push your chest out while bending at your hips instead of your back. Breathe deeply as you work to keep oxygen coming into your lungs and muscles.
Drink at least one glass of water before you start and take periodic hydration breaks. Not only will stopping to drink water avoid overtaxing your muscles, but it will also keep them hydrated. Dehydrated muscles tense up quickly, especially when you are performing manual labor. Remember to stretch during each break as well to prevent lower back pain among other discomforts and to keep breathing deeply. Remember if you are feeling light headed or have difficult breathing stop immediately.
If you deal with neck pain, lower back pain, or any other muscle or spinal issue Dr. Jennifer Barnes, DC can treat, contact her at Heberle Chiropractic. The renowned chiropractor has offices in Canandaigua and Macedon, NY, to help area residents live healthy, pain-free lives without invasive methods or drugs. Call (585) 394-3420 (Canandaigua office) or (315) 986-9424 (Macedon office) to schedule an appointment today, or learn about lower back pain treatments and other pain solutions online. Get more healthy living tips on Facebook.