How to shovel snow so you avoid back injury

//How to shovel snow so you avoid back injury

How to shovel snow so you avoid back injury

By |2018-11-04T11:33:41+00:00December 14th, 2010|General|Comments Off on How to shovel snow so you avoid back injury

With Edinburgh still full of snow and the council being unable to get round to clearing it all, it falls on us to not only shovel our own snow but also to help out our neighbours who are fraigle and vulnerable.

You may see snow shoveling as a harmless activity and most times it is but it is also an activity that gets your heart racing.  If you have been inactive for a while this sudden burst of activity can take a toll on your body so be sure to take it easy and stop when you feel tired.

The other injury you can end up with is a back injury because you are constantly bending, shoveling and moving the snow.  Here is an outline of how to shovel snow so you avoid back injury:

Never lift snow if you can avoid it. Push it instead. Pushing snow is always better than lifting it.

If you are creating a pile of snow and adding to it don’t stand in one place and try to throw it on to the pile, walk over and add it instead.

Stand with your feet hip width apart to ensure your body weight is balanced. If you do need to lift the snow hold the shovel as close to your body as possible and tighten your stomach muscles as you lift.

Never twist while lifting. This is another major error people make. Remember, push rather than lift but if you really do need to lift – lift then turn!

Try to bend your knees as much as possible so that your back doesn’t spend long periods bent over.

When holding the shovel keep one hand well down the shovel so your hands are evenly placed on it.

Edinburgh has had several inches of snow so chances are you have a lot to shovel! Don’t try and lift great big mounds of snow, instead keep them small and shovel a couple of inches at a time.

If you can’t find snow salt then using cat litter is a great alternative to stop you from slipping.

If you have sustained a back injury from shoveling snow please call our offices on 0131 221 1415 to arrange an appointment for one of our specialist to see you.

About the Author:

Clinic Director and Osteopath. Gavin graduated as a Gold Medallist in 1991 and is now a Vice Patron of the British School of Osteopathy. Co-author of “The Back Book” with Gavin Hastings OBE in 1996, he has an MSc in The Clinical Management of Pain from the University of Edinburgh, and is currently working on a new book. He's passionate about helping to move people as far from illness and pain as possible, and in January 2015 set himself the target of helping a million people get a better back.