It’s that time of year for holiday cheer, family gatherings, and snow! Snow, such a beautiful sight to see, but not to shovel.  This newsletter addresses some do’s and don’ts for snow removal to help you prevent injury and potentially remove snow faster.
Let’s face it, it never snows when we’re ready for it and we’re always in a rush to get the job done.  That being said, it’s in your best interest to take just a few minutes beforehand to warm up your body.  Watch this video for a short warm-up that you can do before heading out.

Shoveling Warmup:

Now that you’re all warmed up, dressed and ready to go, here are some tips to help take the stress off your back, shoulders and neck.

Shoveling 101:

I’ll summarize the video below for you:

  1. If you can push the snow instead of lifting it.
  2. If you need to lift, get low and use your legs for power.
  3. Choose a strong but lightweight shovel.  The less you need to lift, the better.
  4. Shoveling multiple times during the long storms will help keep the load lighter for you.
  5. Drink water to stay hydrated.  It may be cold out but with all your layers and hard work, you may be sweating a lot.
  6. Take a break. Think of snow shoveling like exercise.  When you’re lifting heavy weights, you take rest breaks.  This is the same for snow shoveling.
  7. Dress appropriately in multiple layers and make sure your footwear has good traction.

With just a few minor changes in your routine, snow shoveling can be less of a pain.  Stay safe out there this winter and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 608.838.7232

Brian Doolan, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Cert. Dry Needling
Cert. Spinal Manipulation