Snow Shoveling 101

Winter is in full swing and we have more snow on the way. More snow means more of New England’s least favorite winter activity… shoveling snow. It is common this time of year to have an increase in shoulder and back injuries related to snow removal. To hopefully reduce the amount of injuries this winter we will review proper body mechanics while shoveling snow.

First, prior to scooping the snow be sure to avoid lifting a heavy amount. Try to be aware of your strength and not push yourself too hard, even if scooping smaller amounts means that this process takes more time. It is better to be safe, than fast. Second, when scooping the snow into the shovel it is crucial to bend at the knees as well as the hips and back. This will decrease the strain on the low back when moving back into an upright position with a full shovel. Lastly, when preparing to toss the snow to the side you should turn your whole body so that your feet are pointed in the same direction you want to toss the snow, rather than just twisting at the back. Twisting while carrying a heavy object is a common mechanism of low back injury and should be avoided.

Remember to dress warmly,  stay hydrated and pace yourself! Stay safe everyone!