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Snowflakes and Backaches – Tips For Shoveling

December 6, 2010

Ah, the snowflake:  beautiful, crystalline, no two alike.  Wafting through the air until lightly touching down to form winter’s blanket… But pile them up over your driveway and you have your work cut out for you.  Here are some helpful tips to avoid the all-too-common backache that can be associated with snow shoveling.

Warm-up. Before shoveling, warm-up for five to ten minutes by marching on the spot, going for a walk around the block or doing some arm circles.  This will help to get the blood flowing and prepare your body for action.

Take frequent breaks. Shoveling can strain deconditioned muscles in the neck, shoulders and back.  Avoid doing too much for too long.  Try to tackle a small section first and work up from there.

Use good form. Push the snow ahead in a straight path.  Remember to bend your knees when shoveling to lift up the snow and let your legs and arms do most of the work, not your back.

Wear good shoes or boots. Proper footwear with solid treads on the soles help to reduce the risk of slips and falls.  It works for your car’s tires, it can work for you.

Keep warm.  Wear several layers of loose clothing that can trap heat and can also be easily removed as your body warms up.

Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can be a problem in summer as well as winter months.  Try to drink water before thirst sets in.

Pay attention. Stop shoveling immediately if you feel chest pain, become very tired or experience shortness of breath. You may need immediate medical attention.

For more information on back pain relief and prevention you can contact Guelph Chiropractors at Clear Path Chiropractic in downtown Guelph, Ontario.

Image credit: igoy

From → Back Pain

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