What advice does your St. Peter Chiropractor have for avoiding low back pain while shoveling? Dr. Seth Nelson has 5 simple steps to shovel safely this winter.  Keeping injury-free during the winter doesn’t have to be a Christmas miracle! Read on to learn the best techniques to shovel, play and enjoy the winter without back injuries.

What causes a shoveling injury?
Winter work is inevitable; we better do it safely! Lower back pain and injury from shoveling and moving snow usually occur when more weight is on the shovel than anticipated, trying to throw snow further than the body will allow, or a slip while pushing snow across the ground. Dr. Nelson has said many times on other posts that back, neck and shoulder injuries often come from the weight we are not prepared for.

Step 1 for shoveling safely-The Right Shovel
Using the correct sized shovel matters! What to look for in a push shovel: height, handle length, and technique of handling the shovel. What not to use? A short-handled shovel for a tall body, and big scoops easy to overload with weight. Start with a push shovel like this. This style will stop the “scoop, twist, throw” method.

What’s Dr. Nelson’s second safe shoveling suggestion?  Look for small scoop shovels. The smaller the better! Use a long handle and the ergonomics to your advantage. I prefer shovels like this.

Step 3 for shoveling safely- Overall, move in ways that reduce stress on the body, reduce weight on shovels, and remember moving snow is a marathon not a sprint. Watch here for proper technique to avoid injury.

Step 4 for shoveling safely-Shovels should be easy to manage, not too heavy, not too big and keeps you from trying to move too much snow at once.

Step 5 for shoveling safely-Back injuries in St. Peter can be eliminated!  Don’t rush, take your time when shoveling, make sure you are hinging your hips to avoid low back and disc injury.  Make sure you aren’t twisting and throwing snow to avoid lower back and shoulder pain.  Take a moment to watch our videos on these movements on our facebook page and youtube pages.

Stay Active
It is difficult to see beyond the snow, ice, and negative temperatures during the long winter months! Do your best to take advantage of the beauty MinneSNOWta brings with a little extra planning. For instance, preparing for walks with tread support like this.  Having the extra traction will give you the confidence to walk without slipping and keep you from the “winter walk”, slouched, tiny steps, looking down the whole time.  (we’ve all been there)

Remember, Rising Sun Chiropractic has St. Peter’s back safety in mind. If you have had an injury don’t hesitate to call, schedule or just come in to get back in action.

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