How to keep your back healthy and safe this winter:

Whether you’re shoveling your driveway or out skiing on the slopes, there are several winter activities that may cause muscle fatigue, lower back pain, or even vertebral disc damage.

1. Shoveling

  • Warm up – start with a short walk or jog to get your heart rate up
  • Stretch your hamstrings, shoulders, and low back
  • Choose a lightweight shovel with a sharp blade. This will allow you to move the most amount of snow efficiently. Also, pick a shovel that’s the correct length for your height. Make sure you’re not bending forward or leaning back too much.
  • Only lift when absolutely necessary, bending at the hips and knees – never the low back
  • Wear boots with proper gripping and apply salt or sand to prevent falls
  • Take breaks
  • STOP shoveling if your feel short of breath, dizzy, or experience chest pain
  • STOP if you experience sudden sharp low back pain or pain shooting into your legs

2. Sport Proper Footwear

  • Wear stable shoes with reliable tread

3. Carry a lighter load

  • Try not to carry too many items. Distribute weight evenly on both sides of your body to keep your balance.
  • Make multiple trips if necessary!

4. Remember to Exercise

The blustery temps may make us want to head for hibernation all winter. But it’s important to stay active. Having strong muscles will give you an advantage in prevention. Make it one of your New Years resolutions to stay healthy and happy all year long!