Shovelling snow can put you in the risk of low back pain, disc injury or even disc herniation. Few centimetres of snow on your driveway may weigh up to 1500-2000 lbs. In winter month, we underestimate the force we put through the spine while shovelling the snow. In order to avoid hazardous situations, you may want to use salt before it snows or use the cat litter to reduce the risk of slip and fall accident.
Things to keep in mind to reduce the risk of low back pain while shovelling snow:
Proper technique is the key to avoid the low back pain.
- Lift with your legs: bend your knees, NOT your back. By lifting with your legs and not your back will decrease strain and sprain type of injury as well it will strengthen your legs.
- Grip deliberately: place your hands apart on the snow shovel to increase the leverage when you have to lift the snow.
- Engage the Core: tighten your core muscles while pushing or lifting the snow. By engaging your core muscles you will increase stabilize of the spine and reduce the risk of an injury.
- Stability: stand with hip-width apart for better stability and balance.
- Do not twist: avoid twisting your body when you need to throw the snow. Move your feet in the direction you want to flint the snow.
- Do not throw the snow: walk to the place where you want to gather the snow. Turn your feet toward the direction you want to dump the snow. This position will keep you in good form, trust me, your back will thank you.
- Keep the weight close to your body: keep the shovel close to your body to avoid the straining (pulling) your back muscles.
- Keep it light: when snow builds up, do not try to rush through it. Lift 3-5 cm of snow at a time. It might take you few extra minutes to shovel the driveway however, it will keep your back safe and pain free.
Back pain after shovelling the snow. There are many reasons why your back may be sore after the shovelling your driveway. Check out causes for the low back pain.
If you are experiencing any joint pain after shovelling snow (shoulder, elbow, hip, knees and/or neck pain) please do not hesitate to GMG Health and Wellness. We provide chiropractic, physiotherapy, massage therapy and acupuncture services. Our elite level patient cantered approach will alleviate aches and pain so you can get back to doing things you love.