Winter is upon us and when it snows, many of us will be outside shoveling sidewalks and driveways. Snow shoveling is difficult work, and is an activity that can cause many health complications such as muscle strain to the shoulders and lower back. Injuries are even more common to those who do not realize that they are out of condition.
When wintery weather strikes, follow these guidelines when you shovel snow:
Step, don’t twist your back when you throw the snow. Take a step in the direction you are throwing the snow instead of twisting your spine in that direction. Your spine does not tolerate excessive twisting, which can lead to fatigue.
Take a break periodically to extend and stretch the muscles in your lower back. Walk around a bit and do a couple backward-bending exercises: stand up straight, place your hands on the back of your hips, and bend backward slightly for a few seconds.
If you do injure yourself or have muscle fatigue after snow shoveling, talk to your doctor or a physical therapist. A physical therapist can help to relieve pain after an injury as well as teach you how to avoid injuries in the future.