Shoveling Tips | Mankato Chiropractor
Nov 13, 2014
Mankato Chiropractor offers tips for shoveling this winter:
It’s that time of year again! That beautiful, fresh fallen snow can quickly turn ugly for thousands of people who sustain injuries while shoveling snow every year. Low back, neck, shoulder, and wrist injuries from shoveling wet, heavy snow are far too common here in Minnesota. Taking the proper precautions and learning the correct techniques can go a long way in injury prevention. As we head into the winter season, your local Mankato Chiropractor would like to remind you of some safe shoveling tips and techniques:
- Warm up: It is very important to stretch prior to shoveling. The motions of shoveling can be very straining on the muscles, especially on de-conditioned muscles in your upper back, lower back, between your shoulder blades, legs, and buttocks. Wearing warm, layered clothing will also help to keep the muscles loose and limber.
- Avoid twisting motions: Although the spine is a very mobile structure, it is not very tolerant of twisting motions. Push the snow straight ahead, and try not to throw it. Avoid sudden twisting and turning motions as much as possible.
- Lift smaller loads: Try to avoid heavy shovelfuls of snow to reduce the strain on the body. Make sure to bend at the knees and keep the back straight. This ensures you are lifting with the arm and leg muscles, rather than the back. Push the snow away instead of lifting it when possible.
- Use the right size shovel: You want your shovel to be about chest high, allowing your back to remain straight while shoveling. A shovel that is too short will force the back to bend more while lifting the load. A shovel that is too long makes the weight heavier at the end. Keep one hand close to the base of the shovel to increase your leverage.
- Take a break: Take frequent rest breaks to decrease the strain on the muscles. Working too hard, too fast fatigues the muscles, increasing your risk for injury. Also, drink lots of fluids on your breaks to keep your body hydrated.
- See your Mankato Chiropractor: Regular spinal adjustments can help keep your back flexible, and minimize your risk of injury while shoveling. If you do experience an injury during these long winter months, Advantage Chiropractic in Mankato, MN can help you get better and prevent further injury!