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John V. DeMaio, DC, CCN
A Chiropractor's Ten Tips On Shoveling Snow
DeMaio Family Chiropractic
. https://www.demaiochiro.com/

A Chiropractor's Ten Tips On Shoveling Snow

Every winter, patients come in with back injuries due to shoveling snow. As much as we would love to have you as a patient, we would prefer you stay healthy. The following tips can help you avoid back injuries and pain this winter season.

Wear layered clothing and warm up muscles before shoveling snow by marching in place, gentle stretches for lower back and a 30 second body hug to loosen your arms and shoulders.

Wear footwear with good tread and use sand, rock salt, or kitty litter on your sidewalk or driveway to increase traction and reduce the likelihood of slipping.

Pick the proper snow shovel. Your shovel should be chest high so your back can stay straight when lifting. A plastic blade on the shovel will reduce the weight. Grip your hands about 12 inches apart to provide greater stability and minimize the chance of injuries.

Push the snow straight ahead instead of throwing it, when possible.

Shovel with a split stance, with one leg forward and the other leg back, to help prevent lower back injuries while bending over.

Point your toes in the direction you are shoveling and tossing the snow to minimize excessive rotation that can wrench your back.

Bend your knees to lift when shoveling.

Shovel equally on both sides Many people always shovel to their strong side, creating imbalances that put your body at greater risk for injury. Shovel 10 times to your left with your left leg forward then 10 times to your right with your right leg forward. Keep alternating.

Keep your load light and walk towards the snow bank rather than throwing snow.

Cool down after shoveling. Snow shoveling is no different than weight lifting; a shovelful of snow can weigh over 20 pounds, so take care of your muscles.

If you have pain after shoveling snow, seek treatment as soon as possible. Early intervention is key to ensuring a quick recovery. If you injure yourself or are not as active as you wish, call a chiropractor for a consultation.

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