Lower back pain and snow shoveling
Every winter we have bunch of new patients with lower back pain due to snow shoveling. Here is the situation. As you sleep your disc’s hydrate, meaning the take in water and actually expend. Early morning you wake up and look at the window and see snow and you are to shovel it. It is cold out there, your discs are filled with water, and you bend and twist the wrong way, causing a rupture or a disc herniation and tremendous pain.
Let’s look at some ways to reduce this yearly event.
1. Stretch Legs, Arms, Back and shoulders for 10 seconds each. This will reduce injuries especially in cold weather.
2. Shovel Frequent. Do not let the snow to pileup. This should be commonsense. Try to shovel as frequent as possible. Letting the snow sit and accumulate is not a good idea.
3. Pickup Proper Shovel. Newer shovels are lighter. This is important as wet snow can be very heavy and therefore you do not need added shovel weight. Some shovels have a bend in the handle giving it a more ergonomic function.
4. Proper Technique. Push when you can. Pushing is always easier than lifting.
5. Bend you knee, and hips and try not to twist.