How to Shovel Snow Without Straining Your Back in Brantford ON

How to Shovel Snow Without Straining Your Back in Brantford ON


It’s that time again, winter is upon us in Brantford and it is our responsibility to shovel our driveways and walkways. Unfortunately, snow shoveling is one of the most common ways to injury your back during winter months. So please be careful and follow these helpful tips when shoveling snow this winter.

1) Warm up – too often we go outside and start shoveling without warming up or stretching and we aggravate cold tight muscles. Take a few minutes before you go outside to stretch and warm up. Stretching your shoulders, low back and hamstrings will be helpful before you begin shoveling. Also warm up before you get started, jog in place or run up and down the stairs to get warmed up.

2) Dress properly – once you have done your warm up you want to stay warm. Wear a proper hat to keep body heat in. The majority of our heat escapes from our head so a warm hat will help you stay warm. Wear proper boots to keep your feet warm and dry. Make sure to wear warm mitts to help keep your hands warm. And lastly, wear layers so if you get too hot you can take off layers.

3) Be heart smart – Don’t eat or smoke before shoveling and avoid caffeinated beverages. Stimulants can cause your heart rate to increase and constrict blood vessels.

4) Use the proper equipment – the snow is heavy enough so consider using a lighter plastic blade when you shovel. You can also buy ergonomically designed shovels that help keep pressure off your back while shoveling and my personal favorite are the shovels that are designed to push snow instead of lift it. Remember it is a lot easier to push snow than to lift it.

5) Be careful if the ground is icy – to help avoid a slip or fall spread salt or sand over icy areas.

6) Use proper technique – push the snow as much as possible. When you have to lift the snow be sure to keep the shovel tight to your body and lift with your legs not your back. Once you have lifted the snow, slowly toss if forward to avoid twisting and throwing the snow over your shoulder. Whenever possible be sure to tilt your shovel sideways and let the snow fall off your shovel and avoid throwing the snow all together.

7) Take frequent breaks – every 15 minutes take a break, stand up straight, walk around and grab a drink of water so not to dehydrate. We may not be in as good shape as we once were and these frequent breaks can make the task of shoveling snow a lot easier on our bodies.

8) Whenever possible get a head start – it is a lot easier to shovel thinner layers of snow than waiting until all the snow has fallen. This is especially important during a heavy snowfall when as much as a few feet can fall.

9) Stretch After You Are Done – a few minutes spent stretching after your are done shoveling can go a long way in helping tight muscles recover that haven’t been used in a while.

10) Maintain your equipment – tighten screws on the shovel to keep the blade locked on tight. If using a metal shovel be sure to hammer the blade straight when it gets bent and when using a plastic shovel use a utility knife to carve off the burr that forms on the end as it wears.

11) Snow blower – if you have a snow blower use it ! Snow blowers are great because all we have to do is walk behind them and let the snow blower do all the hard work.


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Total Chiropractic
92 Elm Street
Brantford, ON N3R 4V2
(519) 756-8171