How to Avoid Injury Shoveling Snow

If you live in Wisconsin then you know that over the past 3 weeks we’ve seen some record breaking snow fall.  And while its certainly a site to behold actually moving all that snow can be a major pain in the back, literally!


Have you ever noticed that shoveling snow has a sneaky ability to absolutely destroy your back? Ever wonder why that is? Well, the reason is quite simple. Shoveling snow combines two of the most difficult things for your back to do at the same time.  Lifting and twisting.


Either one on its own is not necessarily a big deal.  We can lift heavy amounts of weight without damaging the spine.  We are also built to be able to twist. However when combined the two movements spell trouble, especially for the low back.


This is because the combined movements of lifting and twisting create a “shearing” pressure on the spinal discs. This motion dramatically increases the risk of both muscle injury and pinching of the nerves exiting the spine in the low back.  This is why it is not uncommon for low back injuries resulting from snow shoveling to have both muscle pain and shooting or tingling pain.  The risk of injury is further increased if the person has a pre-existing herniated disc, degenerated disc or history of low back trauma.


The bottom line is to be very careful when shoveling snow. Lift only lighter loads and fully lift the snow before turning to dump it.  The more aware you are of what you are doing the better your chances of getting all that white mess moved without hurting yourself.


If you do manage to injure yourself, fortunately chiropractic can help you fully heal quickly. If injury does occur schedule your appointment as soon as possible. The longer a spinal injury goes without being addressed the longer it takes to fully heal once treatment begins.  Be safe out there!




*To make an appointment call either my Glenwood City or 4 Corners office or message the clinic on Facebook.

Austin EricksonAbout the Author

Dr. Austin Erickson is a chiropractor with offices in Glenwood City and the 4 Corners near New Richmond, Wisconsin. He is an expert at combining chiropractic treatment with nutritional advice to achieve excellent results. He has cured himself of psoriasis and autoimmune related arthritis using his protocols. Connect with him on Twitter and Google+


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