During the winter, many states in America get their fair share of snow, making shoveling an unavoidable part of the winter. Many people start getting back pain due to shoveling. However, if you take a few precautions, such as using ice/heat therapy, medications, exercise, using a Medicare brace for your back, etc. you can minimize the chances of getting back pain. If your pain continues for a longer time period after shoveling snow, you could be suffering from a back injury.
In this blog, we’ll discuss how a back injury may occur while shoveling snow and how to avoid back pain.
Snow Shoveling Injuries:
Snow shoveling is not as easy as it looks. On average, a person has to shovel 1100 to 1500 pounds of snow during the winter. The arduous task of removing the snow and moving it away can strain your back muscles. In most cases, the pain due to shoveling snow involves the lower back region.
When you’re shoveling snow, certain parts of your body are overextended causing pain in the lower back, shoulder, arm, and wrist.
Here are some injuries that you may experience due to snow shoveling:
1. Herniated Disc
A disc can bulge or herniate as a result of a pitched nerve or spine moving out of alignment. To avoid your spine disc from the herniation, make sure you keep your knees perpendicular to the snow you’re shoveling.
Don’t try to throw snow over your shoulder as it might put pressure on your spine and cause a herniated disc.
2. Torn Ligaments Or Fractures
If you fall or slip on snow, you may fracture your ligaments and bones. In some cases, people tear the connective tissues surrounding their spine. To reduce the chances of slipping on the snow, it’s a good idea to spread rock salt on the snow.
If you don’t know the right methods and techniques for moving the snow away, your muscles have to work harder than they typically do. Whether you feel pain in your lower back, shoulder region, arm, or wrist, it’s better to visit your doctor and take some precautionary measures.
How To Avoid Back Pain While Shoveling Snow
If you have got an injury in your back, there are a number of braces that you can use to treat back pain in the aftermath of snow shoveling injury to your back, shoulder, or arm.
No doubt braces can be a little expensive but if you’re a Medicare beneficiary, you can buy a brace for your back, shoulder, or arm at a minimal cost.
Tips To Avoid Back Injury While Shoveling Snow
It’s better to prevent an injury from happening in the first place. Here are some tips that will help you learn how to avoid a back injury during snow shoveling.
1. Warm Up Before Shoveling
Before you start shoveling, take a few minutes to warm up your muscles by doing some light stretching exercises. This will help to prepare your body for the physical exertion of shoveling and reduce the risk of injury.
2. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Shoveling is like exercising and it burns almost 300 calories when moving the snow away. It can be even harder if the snow is heavier and wetter. If you stay hydrated, it will keep you more active during the process.
3. Wear Good Shoes
Most injuries occur when people slip on the snow due to slippery shoes. If you’re wearing shoes that don’t have insulation and or good tread, it will make you more vulnerable to a slip or tumble. Taking some time out to find a good pair of shoes can save you a trip to the doctor.
4. Wear Warm Clothes
While shoveling snow, it’s important to keep yourself warm and comfortable. If your body is not comfortable and you’re cold, your muscles are more likely to strain. Extra layers of warm clothes will keep your muscles loose. They will keep you dry and comfortable and help in avoiding any injury.
5. Take frequent breaks
Shoveling snow can be physically demanding, so it’s important to take frequent breaks to rest and stretch your muscles. This will help to prevent fatigue and reduce the risk of injury.
In conclusion, shoveling snow can put a lot of stress on your back, but the above-mentioned steps you can take minimize the risk of injury. By warming up before shoveling, wearing warm clothes, using proper technique, and taking frequent breaks, you can reduce the strain on your back and avoid back pain.
It’s also recommended to wear a back brace if you feel pain in your back. Remember to listen to your body and stop if you feel any pain or discomfort. Additionally, pain doesn’t go after using traditional methods, it’s recommended to consult a doctor immediately.