Snow Shovelling Tips to Protect Your Back From Injury

Jan 6th, 2021

HPC tip for protecting yourself while shovelling snow


Snow Shoveling Tips to Protect Your Back From Injury

Old Man Winter has been seemingly relentless in Guelph this year. The snow keeps coming and as a result, we have had a number of patients visiting the Health and Performance Centre with injuries from improper technique.

To make sure you are staying safe while doing that dreaded winter chore, here are some tips from one of our chiropractors, Dr. Kate Henderson on how to do it properly which will protect your back from injury.


Tip 1: Lift Light

It may be tempting to do less lifting by filling your shovel to its max, but this shortcut is bound to cause sore muscles if not trigger a new injury altogether.


Tip 2: Bend from the hips and use your knees

Many of us are guilty of using our backs to lift heavy things and we don’t even realize it until it is too late. Try to be mindful of this form during the entire time.


Tip 3: Push, don’t lift.

Avoid stressing your back altogether and instead try to use your arms to push the snow rather than lifting it if possible.


Tip 4: If you have to lift, don’t twist!

If you have to lift the snow up to toss it over a drift or other barrier, we recommend that you throw it directly in front of you rather that twisting to do so, which can be a strain on your lower back.


Tip 5: Take Your Time

Possibly the most critical tip of all – don’t rush. If you go slow, you can be more mindful of how you are moving your body and will avoid lifting those heavy shovels of snow.


Tip 6: Dress for the job

You wouldn’t go for a jog with rain boots on, don’t try clearing the snow with your running shoes. Look for footwear with good tread on it so that you can stay stable and prevent slips and falls while you’re working.


Good luck out there! If you need any help with aches and pains, give us a call here at the Health and Performance Centre at 519-767-5011.