Tasks like snow shoveling and snow blowing that aren’t performed often can put one at more risk for injury. It’s important to have good form when shoveling snow, and you’ll also want to warm up beforehand and stretch afterwards to help with any muscle soreness.
1. As usual, you want to be mindful to bend at your hips, not your back, and to lift with your legs, not with your back. Remember the hip hinging exercise from a few months ago!!
2. Try scooping smaller amounts of snow so your load isn’t too heavy. This is especially important with the heavy wet snow we typically get in this area.
3. Avoid rotating or twisting your spine when shoveling as this causes extra pressure on the disks in your back.
4. Take frequent breaks to stand up straight.
5. Don’t wait until the end of the snowstorm. Go out more frequently to clear the snow so you don’t have to do it all at one.
6. Pull your belly button in to your back as you shovel. This will engage your core muscles to help protect your back.
If you’d like to work on a home exercise program that will help with common household tasks like shoveling, or you’re experiencing back pain, please don’t hesitate to contact L A R Physical Therapy to schedule an appointment.