Snow shoveling is a common causes of back injuries during the Minnesota winter months. However, if you follow our tips for safe snow shoveling, back injuries can be avoided.
The Right Shovel – choose a shovel that meets these criteria:
- Small, lightweight with a plastic blade will reduce the weight you are moving.
- A curved handle or adjustable handle length will keep painful bending to a minimum.
Get Your Blood Moving – warm, flexible muscle are less prone to injury than cold, tight muscles. So do the following:
- Five to ten minutes before shoveling snow, take a walk or march in place.
- After your initial warm up, gently stretch your hamstrings and low back.
Lifting Techniques – whenever possible rather than lift the snow in your shovel, push the snow from one side to another. If and when lifting is inevitable, use the following ergonomic techniques:
- Keep the loads light.
- Bend at the hips, never the low back.
- Bend at your knees and lift with your leg muscles, keep your back straight.
- When gripping your shovel, use one hand as close to the blade as possible and the other hand on the handle.
- Pivot your whole body to face a new direction, no twisting
- Do not extend your arms to throw snow – set the snow down.
Happy shoveling and think warm thoughts. If you do feel pain after shoveling snow – come see us, we can help relieve the pain!