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How to Prevent Back Pain When Shoveling

Last Updated: January 8, 2019

The harsh winter months can often be tough on our bodies. Having to regularly shovel heaps of snow can easily take a toll on your back, muscles and bones. Snow and ice can look pretty but can be dangerous if the correct precautionary steps are not taken. The likelihood of injury is heightened if outdoor areas are not maintained. Remember to regularly salt your driveways, walkways and stairs to prevent any slip and fall accidents!

The following consists of steps you can take to prevent injury whilst shoveling the snow;

1. Wear the correct shoes

Although a simple task, many often wear improper footwear in the winter months. It is essential to have boots that offer heavy-duty grip, comfort and warmth. Proper footwear can greatly help prevent injury, as your shoes should minimize the risk of slipping and sliding.

2. Keep the shovel and its weight close to your body

The shovel and the weight of the snow can get relatively heavy. Similar to when you are working out, a safe practice to always abide by is keeping heavy weights close to your body. This is because holding heavy weights far out from your body can significantly increasing the risk of enduring a muscle strain or sprain. When you are shoveling, you can do this by shoveling smaller amounts or holding the weight close to your core.

3. Lift weight using your legs

Remember that when you are shoveling you want to lift the weight with the help of your legs as opposed to using your back. Lifting weights with your back can injure your spine or muscles. Using your legs is also easier as they are much stronger than your back. You can also focus on tightening or squeezing your core muscles to reduce any stress from impacting your back.

4. Don’t throw the snow!

It can often just be easier to fling the snow across when shoveling in a rush. However, this twisting motion that occurs in your back can lead to back pain or soreness. It is important that after you shovel the snow, you walk to the correct side and place the snow there. This position will ensure that your body is in proper form.

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