3 Ways to Prevent a Back Injury Shoveling Snow

by Tiffany Nielsen PT, DPT

Having back pain after snow shoveling is very common and can last for hours to days, especially when done for long periods of time, but it doesn’t have to! There are several ways you can prevent having a back injury this winter season. If you don’t want to pay someone to remove your snow for you or if you want to get some exercise but are worried about hurting your back, try these three tips to prevent back pain!

1.  Share the Load.  Try to shovel the same amount of snow rotating left as you do rotate right and alternating your arms and legs.  Back injuries are very common when performing a repetitive movement for a long period of time and alternating sides can be very helpful in preventing an overuse injury.

2.  Keep Moving: Get stiff after you shovel your snow?  Just keep moving after shoveling. Sitting in a chair for hours after shoveling can cause your back muscles to tighten, increasing your chance of back pain afterward.

3.  Stretch: Performing some simple core strengthening and back stretches before and after shoveling can go a long way!. Here’s a link for some easy exercises to try!

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