Prevent Injury While Shoveling Snow

Snow_Shoveling

Prevent Injury While Shoveling Snow

As the winter months progress so does the amount of snow and for many of us that means more snow shoveling and potential back injuries.  Here are several tips that will help prevent any serious back injuries this winter.  If you would like one-on-one training on shoveling snow you can come to my house and shovel my snow and I will watch and give you tips as you go.

  1. Warm-up – People typically shovel snow in the morning.  This means they get out of bed, eat breakfast and start shoveling.  In the morning muscles are stiff and you vertebral discs are filled with fluid, which is a perfect recipe for injury.  So, get up early and give your body an hour upright prior to shoveling.  Do 50 jumping jacks, 25 body weight air squats and 50 pushups.  These exercises will activate your muscles and get the blood flowing.
  2. Stretch – After warming up do some quick stretches.  Stretch your hamstrings (the back of your legs) and the lower back musculature.  This only takes 5 minutes.
  3. Boots – Wear shoes or boots that have traction.  Don’t go out in your dress shoes that are typically flat bottomed with no traction.  Many people injure their back not from the actual shoveling but from slipping and the quick movement to catch them from falling.
  4. The Shovel – Use a shovel that is not as wide.  An extra 12” or even 6” on the width of the shovel can increase the load significantly and lets be honest, how much time does that really save you.  Not much. So use a smaller shovel.
  5. Alternate Hands – It will feel awkward at first, but alternate the hand that is forward.  If you shovel with your left hand forward, do this for 5 minutes and then put your right hand forward.  This will work the muscles on both sides of your body equally.
  6. More Than Once – What does that mean?  If you are expecting 12” of snow, shovel when there is 4” or 6” and then do it again.  People hate shoveling but look at it like it’s your exercise for the day.
  7. Get Adjusted – Come get adjusted and restore motion in the spine and allow your nervous system to function properly.

For additional information or to schedule an appointment call Dr. Zach Winkelmann at Winkelmann Chiropractic & Injury today at 307-763-4141 or visit www.sheridanchiropractor.com.  Same day appointments are available so call NOW!  Prevent low back injuries this winter and align your spine at Winkelmann Chiropractic & Injury!