No matter where you live in Southern Ontario, snow is pretty much guaranteed. And while that means more chaos on the road for drivers, it also means more homeowners suffering from sore backs as a result of improper snow shovelling.
“Shovelling out after a storm doesn’t have to leave you stiff and sore,” says Ajax chiropractor Dr. John Noble.
In this video shot a few years ago during one of our bigger snowstorms, Dr. Noble offers a few common-sense tips on how to shovel safely.
Unfortunately, just because we’re Canadians doesn’t mean we’re experts when it comes to shovelling snow!
Follow these guidelines from the Ontario Chiropractic Association and with a little know-how, you can clear your driveway without any back, neck and shoulder pain ruining your day.
Before You Head Outside to Shovel
- Drink plenty of water. Dehydration is just as big an issue in the winter months as it is in the summer.
- Dress in several layers so you can remove a layer as you get warm.
- Wear proper footwear. Shoes and boots with solid treads on the soles can help to minimize the risk of slips and falls.
- Pick the right shovel. Use a lightweight, non-stick, push-style shovel. A smaller blade will require you to lift less snow, putting less strain on your body. An ergonomically correct model (curved handle) will help prevent injury and fatigue. Also, if you spray the blade with a silicone-based lubricant, the snow will slide off more easily.
- Before beginning any snow removal, warm up for five to 10 minutes to get your joints moving and increase blood circulation. A brisk walk will do it.
Follow These Tips To Avoid Injury While Shovelling
1. Push, Don’t Throw
Push the snow to one side and avoid throwing it. If you must throw it, avoid twisting and turning — position yourself to throw straight at the snow pile.
2. Bend Your Knees
Use your knees, leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting while keeping your back straight.
3. Watch for Ice
Be careful on icy walkways and slippery surfaces. Intermittent thaws and subsequent freezing can lead to ice building up underfoot, resulting in nasty slips and falls. Throw down some salt or sand to ensure you have a good footing.
If you’re experiencing back pain, consider visiting the chiropractic and massage therapy team at Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage. We help our patients build better pathways to overall wellness, as well as relief from back pain and muscle aches. Contact our clinic today at 905-427-3202.
With content from the Ontario Chiropractic Association.