NUCCA Chiropractor, Dr. John John Kowalczyk has heard every possible situation as to how people can “throw” their backs out. Among the typical wear and tear, clients often come in after feeling pain from shoveling snow. Believe it or not, there are several ways you can avoid the back pain after shoveling.
First, take some preventative care. Perhaps stretch your legs, back and arms a bit to avoid pulling any muscles in these areas. Additionally, dress warm enough to ensure the muscles are staying warm to aid in avoiding muscle injury.
Next, try and be aware of your form while shoveling. Start with feet firmly planted on the ground with controlled ankles. Bend your knees and widen your elbows to lift with your limbs rather than your back. When you are lifting the snow refrain from sudden twists. Seems lots of twisting occurs during shoveling as you probably trying to throw the shovel on the side or even behind your body. Be sure to turn your whole body instead to avoid twisting the spine with the heavy weight of the snow on it. You can also avoid the weight of the snow by pushing the snow with the shovel as much as possible. Rather than picking it up with the shovel.
While shoveling, be sure to take as many breaks as needed to dodge further strain and pain. Afterward, you still may have some soreness after shoveling from using muscles you have not used in a while and that is normal- but if it turns from soreness to pain, or if the soreness persists for more than two days it is probably time to see the chiropractor.