Safe Snow Shoveling This Winter

Avoiding back pain during the winter months can be difficult as shoveling can become a daily chore. Cold temperatures can make breathing harder and cold muscles can be prone to pulls and strains. Shoveling snow is a high risk activity due to repetitive twisting and awkward lifting. Therefore, safe shoveling practices can help you avoid pain and give you the freedom to do whatever else you please in the winter.

Warm Up and Take Breaks

Take time to stretch before and after going outside and make sure you are wearing appropriate clothing that will keep you warm.  It is best to avoid overexertion by taking breaks and splitting the shoveling into smaller amounts. During breaks, make sure you stand up straight and keep moving to stay warm.

Technique Makes a Difference

It is important to keep one hand close to the base of the shovel and move your hand further apart when you need more leverage. You should always lift with your legs, bend at the knees and keep your back straight. Try to not twist when you are dumping the snow as you can hurt your back.

A Kinesiologist Can Help

Kinesiologists are trained and skilled in the treatment of back injuries, among other injuries. If you are experiencing back pain, a kinesiologist can perform an assessment to determine the source of your injury and develop a treatment program to manage the pain and keep the pain away. A kinesiologist can treat the muscles both directly and those connected to it, by relieving tension, improving posture and correcting any imbalances.

If you are experiencing any back pain from shoveling snow in the Ottawa and Kingston area, contact Fleming Fitness to book an appointment. A kinesiologist would be happy to help you!

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