Proper shoveling technique is a must to protect yourself from injury. Research shows that thousands of people end up in emergency departments each year after snow shoveling – and many of those visits are for back injuries.
Before heading outdoors, make sure to warm up. Doing toe touches and lumbar twists will get the blood flowing to the lower back to help avoid potential injury.
As you lift the snow, keep the shovel blade close to you to reduce back strain.
Try to keep your stomach drawn in the entire time. This will help stabilize and protect your back.
Make sure to bend at the knees and lift with your legs.
Switch off between shoveling right-handed and left-handed, so that you’re working different muscles. You can also alternate between lifting and throwing to plowing and pushing the snow.
Periodically change your grip on the hand holding the bar (palm under vs. palm over).
When the snowfall is heavy (1 foot in depth, let’s say), don’t try to clean right down to the ground with a single scoop. Instead, skim the top 6 inches off, then scoop up the bottom 6 inches. Otherwise, you could be hurting yourself by lifting too much.
If an injury does occur, call our telemedicine benefit program. First Stop Health doctors help with minor sprains, strains, and aches. Contact them by calling 888-691-7867. No registration is required. Simply give them your first and last name! *Only those under the insurance have access to this program.