With Winter in full swing again, snow shoveling and even snow blowing can cause sore back, hips, neck and shoulders. Using proper form and simple common sense ideas will keep you ready for the next BLAST! Use the following tips to help keep yourself in tip top snow removal condition. Who knows, you may even want to do your neighbor's driveway!
- Maintain the curvature (slightly arched) of your low back throughout shoveling, keeping your hips low
- LIFT WITH YOUR LEGS: it is better to have tired legs than a sore back!
- Your knees should NEVER be fully straight
- BALANCED EFFORT - Make sure you alternate the sides you are throwing from; you can also alternate the leading hand on the shovel pole
- THINK SYMMETRY- whatever you do to the right, do to the left
- SHARE THE LOAD! Snow can be deceptively heavy, why not make it a group effort!
- In wet or heavy snow conditions take smaller scoops or use a smaller shovel to prevent overexerting yourself
- REST OFTEN and be sure to stay warm and well hydrated
- After you are done shoveling or during your rest breaks, you should perform quadriceps, hamstrings, piriformis and lumbar stretches to help prevent that “next day soreness” “ I can’t stand up feeling”
Lumbar Extension Stretch
- Contact your physician if you feel any heaviness in the chest, arm, or other cardiac symptoms
- See your MSU Physical Therapist if you experience persistent Low Back Pain symptoms.