Updated: Shoveling snow and your back

Winter is near, and that means snow will soon be piling up on your driveway and sidewalk. The removal of snow is key to preventing any injuries and falls that can occur from icy surfaces. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that one million Americans are injured from falling on snow or ice. The best way to ensure that your sidewalks are clean from snow is by shoveling it. Or, if you are lucky enough, you might have a snow removal machine. 

However, shoveling snow is not an easy task on your back. The Nationwide Children’s reports that shoveling snow has resulted in 11,500 injuries and trips to the emergency room each year. This manual task can lead to lower and upper back injuries. 

That is why chiropractor Omaha NE professionals want to share how shoveling affects your back. Also, here are a few tips on how to prevent back pain from shoveling snow

How can shoveling snow cause back pain 

When you shovel snow, you pick up the snow and move it with a shovel over your shoulder. This can be tiring because the snow is heavy, and when you are lifting the snow, it puts a strain on the discs in your lower back. This can result in lower back pains and other injuries. 

Injuries that can result from shoveling snow

Here is a list of common injuries that can occur from shoveling snow

  • Muscle strains 

  • Tendon strains

  • Bone fractures 

  • Lower and upper back pain

  • Shoulder pain 

  • Chest pains 

  • Cardiac pain

How to prevent back pain from shoveling sno

Avoid shoveling in the morning

It can be tempting to start shoveling in the morning. However, experts suggest you wait until later in the day to shovel snow. The reason is that early in the morning, your muscles are not loose or warm enough to do heavy physical activity. Shoveling in the break of dawn can result in muscle injuries and even cause a heart attack

Stretch before start shoveling

Just like before exercising, you should also be stretching before you shovel snow. Why? Stretching can help decrease the chances of you getting injured when doing physical activity. Shoveling snow requires you to lift and push heavy amounts of snow in cold weather. Stretching beforehand warms up your muscles to move with more flexibility and reduce tears. 

Make sure you are bundled up

The low temperatures and chilly winds are not the most ideal conditions to be shoveling snow. This harsh cold weather can be hard on your body, especially if you do not have the correct clothing. Staying for long periods of time in cold weather can cause your muscles to tighten up and increase your chances of getting injured when shoveling snow. That is why experts suggest you layer up and wear the correct clothing to keep you warm. 

Get regular chiropractic care

Whether you work outdoors, removing snow or occasionally remove snow from your home, chiropractic care can help prevent a back injury. A chiropractor Omaha NE professional can ensure that your back is aligned to improve your balance and help you lift with ease. Plus, if you feel sore or strains from shoveling, they can help you recover from the injury. 

Choose the best chiropractor Omaha NE professional!

Let Dr. Wisniewski help you prevent and recover from any back injuries caused by shoveling snow. We offer both spinal and extremity manipulation. Contact us to set your appointment today