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  • Writer's pictureLori Goodsell

Back Pain from Shoveling

Updated: May 18, 2023

In my 23 years of being a chiropractor, I have seen plenty of injuries and back pain from shoveling. While shoveling is unavoidable in our climate, back pain from shoveling can be avoided.

blanket of snow on a field with a fence in the foreground

While it would be best to hire a plow truck or use a snow blower, that isn't always realistic or within the budget. At my office we have very awkward stairs that need attention and at my house parts of the deck need to get shoveled. We've all caused ourselves back pain from shoveling but here are a few tips that will minimize that pain.

First, do it in small amounts. Either shovel every couple of inches or if you waited until the snow finished, limit yourself to 15 minutes and then go inside and focus on another task for awhile. It shouldn't be a surprise that the more time you spend shoveling, the more back pain you have.

Second, check your implements of destruction. The cheap $10 shovels with the stick handles are the worst. Go buy yourself one with a bend in it to protect your back or if you are doing big areas, get the scoop shovel. Both have a more ergonomic design and will minimize back pain when you shovel.

Third, when you have finished shoveling, take some time to stretch your lower back. If you simply plop down on the couch in front of your laptop, you will become very stiff. Just a simple 10 minute routine will prevent back pain from shoveling. If you don't know where to begin, check out some of the stretching videos in my blog . Stretching after a strenuous activity is a great way to prevent back pain after shoveling or anything else.

Fourth, don't wait until you have back pain to see your chiropractor. When your back muscles are feeling tired and sore it's a great reason to be adjusted. It will cause your spinal muscles to fire properly and work in an organized fashion creating stability for your back. When your spinal muscles are properly firing and your spine is supported by a stable muscle structure, you will have less back pain. If your back goes out on you, here are some helpful tips until you can get in to see me.

While shoveling is unavoidable in Minnesota, back pain from shoveling can be prevented by taking these four steps. Check out our website to learn more about my Plymouth Chiropractic office You can also schedule at our Plymouth chiropractic online

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