Some of the most common winter injuries we see are low back strains and shoulder and neck injuries. These are often caused by shoveling snow incorrectly or slips and falls on the ice. Here are some tips that may help you prevent an injury this winter season.
Think ahead. Consider salting your driveway or sidewalk before the snow starts falling. This may help prevent an unnecessary fall once you start shoveling.
- Warm up. Before you head outside, warm up for about 10 minutes to prepare your body for the vigorous activity ahead. This can include doing squats, walking, and/or stretching.
- Start early. It’s easier to shovel two inches of fresh snow than six inches of snow that’s been sitting a while, becoming dense and packed. If an all-day snowfall is expected, then you may want to clear a few inches of snow at a time throughout the day—rather than waiting for the snow to stop and shoveling it all at once.
- Push snow, instead of lifting it. Pushing snow is easier than lifting it. But if you must lift it, keep these pointers in mind:
- Keep your feet hip-width apart
- Bend your knees and keep your back straight
- Try not to twist your torso when lifting snow
- Shovel small amounts of snow at a time
- Don’t throw the snow into a pile; instead, walk it over to where you want to pile it
- Stay hydrated. Shoveling snow is taxing, and you’re probably doing more work than you think. Take breaks and drink liquids while you’re shoveling. Remember to hydrate after you’re done shoveling as well.
Chiropractic care keeps your back flexible and minimizes the chance of injury, but if you do overdo it, let us know during your next appointment!