'Tis the Season for Snow Shoveling

Written By Chiropractic Health and Wellness on December 30, 2008

The combination of heavy snow, icy walks, and cold temperatures put people at increased risk for falls, back injuries and even heart attacks. I thought I would give you a few clues about how to avoid injury while doing the unavoidable.

              Hire someone else to do the shoveling for you. That is my favorite one.

    Treat snow shoveling like the athletic event it is and do some gentle stretching and warming up before you go out to shovel.

    Keep your back straight while shoveling and this means getting a shovel with a long enough handle or one of those funky ergonomic ones with the curved handle so that you do not have to bend down.

    Take smaller amounts with each shovel so that you do not strain yourself.

    Step in the direction that you are throwing the snow so that you do not have to bend and twist.

    Take it slow and take frequent rests because shoveling can be extremely strenuous and can elevate both heart rate and blood pressure.

    Remember to lift with your legs and not with your back while you are lifting and throwing the snow.

    When you do take a break from shoveling spend a little time arching backward with your hands on your low back to counter-balance your forward bent posture.

    If it is extremely cold and windy make sure to keep your face covered to prevent frostbite, but also to warm the air coming into your lungs.