With winter upon us, snow is falling. As a physical therapist, I see a number of patients enter my clinic with a complaint of back pain after clearing their driveway and sidewalk.
A few things to keep in mind to help decrease your risk for low back injury:
- Don’t bend and lean forwards from your back
- Use your legs to drive your shovel into the snow and when lifting the shovel
- Perform a pivoting motion at your legs instead of a twisting motion from your back to throw the snow
- Switch the direction in which you throw the snow every 4-5 tosses
- Take a break as needed (about every 10 minutes) to arch and stretch your back
- For example: stand and place your hands behind your back and lean backward until your discomfort/tension eases
Here is a great video from Erson Religioso III, DPT at phyioanswers.com.