Snow Shoveling Injuries

When snow season rolls around, the beautiful white flakes begin to pile up, and the shovels come out of hibernation. Shoveling, with its heavy lifting, twisting and pushing, can have its own share of potential injuries, especially to the back and wrists.

Preventing Snow Shoveling Injuries

Here are some tips for how to avoid injury while shoveling:

Warm up

Warm up your muscles first as you prepare for some serious weight lifting.

Keep your back straight and bend at the hips and knees

Scoop the snow in small amounts while straightening the legs.

Balance the load

Hold the shovel with two hands spread out to balance the weight and increase your leverage.

Start early

Clear the snow when it is light by clearing early and often during a heavy snowfall.

Use the right tool

Use the right length shovel for you. A short shovel will cause you to bend more to life, a long shovel will be awkward and make it more difficult to lift the snow.

Don’t twist or throw snow over your shoulder

Face into the direction you are tossing the snow. Or even better, push the snow instead of lifting it.

Take breaks

Remember to stand up straight to rest your back periodically.


Common Snow Shoveling Injuries and Conditions

Herniated Disc

Between the vertebrae are discs that allow the back to move, flex and absorb shock. A herniated disc, also referred to as slipped or ruptured disc, occurs when the center portion of the disc puts pressure on the nerve causing pain. This results from a traumatic injury, repetitive strain or wear and tear from age.

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