Newsletter

Shoveling is Risky to Low Backs

Shoveling snow can wreak havoc on the musculoskeletal system. The ACA suggests the following tips for exercise of the snow shoveling variety:
  • If you must shovel snow, be careful. Listen to weather forecasts so you can rise early and have time to shovel before work.

  • Layer clothing to keep your muscles warm and flexible.

  • Shoveling can strain "de-conditioned" muscles between your shoulders, in your upper back, lower back, buttocks and legs. So, do some warm-up stretching before you grab that shovel.

  • When you do shovel, push the snow straight ahead. Don't try to throw it. Walk it to the snow bank. Avoid sudden twisting and turning motions.

  • Bend your knees to lift when shoveling. Let the muscles of your legs and arms do the work, not your back.

  • Take frequent rest breaks to take the strain off your muscles. A fatigued body asks for injury.

  • Stop if you feel chest pain, or get really tired or have shortness of breath. You may need immediate professional help.


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