Protecting Your Back While You Shovel

Minnesota is a beautiful state with a lot to offer, but there’s no denying our winters can be brutal. Frigid temperatures, icy roads, and mounds of snow can make life hard for these few months out of the year. When people think of wintertime dangers, they likely think of slipping on ice or maybe developing frostbite. 

But you’re more likely to injure yourself while shoveling than you are to develop frostbite. 

Shoveling your sidewalk or driveway might seem relatively harmless, but it causes tens of thousands of injuries and hospital visits every year. The act of shoveling can be especially strenuous on your back. All it takes is one wrong movement, and you could be in a state of ongoing discomfort. 

If you’re going to be shoveling, make sure you’re protecting yourself. 

Reducing Injury During Shoveling 

If you already deal with lower backpain and/or you’re elderly, it’s best to let someone else handle the shoveling if possible. Whether it’s your kids, a younger neighbor, or a professional, the best way to avoid injuries while shoveling is to avoid shoveling altogether. 

Protecting Back While ShovelingOf course, that isn’t a realistic option for many. 

Alternatively, you could purchase a snowblower. While snow blowing still leaves you exposed to cold temperatures and icy surfaces, it’s much easier on your lower back. 

For those who are going to be shoveling snow the old-fashioned way, you can still be smart about it.  

As with any physical activity, you should do some stretching first. It might seem a little strange to stretch before shoveling, but it can make a massive difference in helping you avoid injury. It’s a good idea to drink water before and after as well. 

When it comes to the actual shoveling, make sure you’re using a shovel that’s long enough. Otherwise, you’ll put extra strain on your back. As you shovel, keep your hips locked, knees bent, and back straight. Lift with your knees and don’t try to lift too much at once.  

It’s understandable that you want to get done as soon as possible but the faster you move, the more likely you are to hurt yourself. Take your time. You may even want to take a break or two, depending on how much you’re shoveling. 

What Happens If I Hurt Myself? 

If you hurt yourself while shoveling, whether it’s your lower back, midback, shoulder, or neck, it’s a good idea to see a chiropractor. A trustworthy chiropractor can help pinpoint the cause of the issue, relieve pain and tension, and even equip you with stretches and exercises to help avoid further injury.  

Chiropractic care can also be a great preemptive measure, relieving tension and protecting your spine before injury occurs. 

If you’re looking for a chiropractor in Prior Lake, Savage, and the surrounding communities, contact Watkins Family Chiropractic today. We provide individualized chiropractic treatment that focuses on your specific needs and works with your budget and schedule.  

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation or to make your first appointment. You can either call us directly or use our website to book your visit. We look forward to meeting with you and providing some relief this winter season.  

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