By Jeff Sheppard 17 Jan 2022 no comment 667 Views

It’s winter in the Maritimes, and that means snow, blizzards and nor’easters.

Shoveling snow is a common cause of back injuries.

How can you protect yourself when shoveling snow?

Shovel with a plan.  Know where the snow is going to go.  Make sure your shoveled snow isn’t blocking something important, like a vent, drain, path, or outlet.  Shove snow far enough from your path to leave room for more snow, in case another storm follows soon after.

Push snow whenever possible.  Scooping it up to throw it increases the risk of injury to your back.  Ideally, you should be able to shove snow off of your driveway, walkway, etc.

Don’t bend your low back.  What should you do if you need to bend down?  Bend at your hips and squat down with your legs while keeping your low back straight.  Bending your low back is a leading cause of injuries.

Shovel for 15 minutes at a time.  Taking breaks will give you the opportunity for resting and stretching; not taking breaks makes pain and injury more likely.  Breaks also allow you to evaluate your body.  If you’re feeling pain, it’s time for a longer rest.

Shovel sooner rather than later.  Half-melted snow and slush are heavy.  If they freeze again, they’ll stick to your driveway and sidewalk.   If possible, shovel while the snow is falling.

Use a shovel designed for clearing snow.  The sort of shovel made for digging is difficult to push.  It’s also not very wide, meaning a lot of exercise for little progress.   Digging shovels are heavy and rugged, while snow shovels are designed to be light and easy to push.

When possible, avoid walking or driving over snow you need to clear.  Packing it down will make it harder to move.

Contact Sheppard Chiropractic Centre at 847-7172 or 635-8182 to schedule your appointment.

If you’ve injured yourself shoveling snow, or if you find yourself plagued by aches, pain and stiffness afterwards, it’s time to see your chiropractor.  We’d be honoured to assist you!  If you don’t have a chiropractor, we’re accepting new patients!

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