Proper Snow Shoveling Techniques

November 30th, 2018

Another New England winter is almost here and the first snowstorm of the season has already come and gone. Most of us head outside to clear the snow and unfortunately, shoveling snow is one of the most common causes of low back pain in the winter months.  Implementing proper body mechanics for snow shoveling can drastically reduce your chance of injury.

Warm Up

Cold, tight muscles are more prone to injury than warm. It’s easy to warm up. Go for a brief walk and stretch your hamstring/low back

Hamstring Stretch

Lower Back Stretch

Use optimal lifting ergonomics

It’s easy to be safe when shoveling once you know the proper body mechanics and positions.

Directly face the snow you are about to lift, rather than twisting, and when lifting, bend with the hips and knees, not the low back.

Don’t lift too much snow at a time and walk to the location you will put the snow, rather than throwing it.

Pace yourself

Go out a few times during each storm, don’t try to do this all at once! This will lessen the strain on your back and arms

Don’t lift too much at once, taking your time is worth it if you remain injury free!

If the snow is deep push off a few inches from the top rather than lifting the whole depth at once

Take breaks.

To see more, please view our video.

Of course, we know that sometimes injuries can occur. Fortunately Motion Works Physical Therapy is ready to help if you hurt your back, legs, or other area. Call us at 508-660-1110 to learn more and to make an appointment.

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