Well it finally happened….
Which means I had to shovel…
As did many others in Kamloops.
I see many people come into the clinic this time of year after the first few bigger snow falls because their back is sore or they ‘tweak’ it shoveling.
Let me give you some tips on how to avoid seeing me due to any shoveling-related injuries.
1) Warm up! It might not seem necessary, but shoveling can be a vigorous exercise, that requires your whole body (arms, legs, back, and cardio). With that in mind, treat it like any other exercise. Even 2 minutes of arm circles, shoulder shrugs, leg swings, back bends and back twists.
2) An ergonomic shovel may help leverage your own body weight and or maintain better back positions when shoveling. Lightweight and durable might help your arms.
3) Use your legs to lift! – how many times have you heard this one before? This is probably a bigger discussion, but lifting with your back CAN BE OK as long as your back has the tolerance for it. If you’re not used to lifting heavier weights, make sure to recruit the legs to help you lift and prevent putting unfamiliar stress on your back.
4) Push instead of lift. As above, when you can avoid lifting all together and just push snow it can reduce unfamiliar strain on your back
5) Pace yourself. Easier said than done… usually I want to get it over with as quickly as possible and enjoy a nice cup of cocoa. But overexertion can lead to fatigue, which can lead to injury. Listen to your body and take breaks when you feel you need them.
Overall, as necessary as shoveling may be, injuries don’t have to be a part of it. Hopefully with these tips you can avoid that pesky back ache or tweak after shoveling, but as always, if it does occur, we are here to help.
Tim Schmidt works at our Valleyview clinic location. To book an appointment with Tim or one of our other therapists, phone 250-314-0788 or book online HERE.