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"Snow" More Back Pain: There's No App for That!

Winter is a great time for outdoor fun. Ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, or just playing in the snow are great ways to have fun and get exercise. Winter also comes with the tedious task of shoveling snow. During the winter months, we see a lot of patients with back pain from shoveling. Although shoveling snow can be physically demanding, there are simple ways to keep yourself safe while clearing the sidewalk.

  1. Warm up before going outside. Get your body moving prior to shoveling. Use full body movements such as brisk walking, going up and down stairs, and light stretches before starting.
  2. Dress appropriately. Wear clothes that will keep you warm and breathe once you start to sweat. Avoid tight, uncomfortable clothing that prohibits you from moving properly.
  3. Use safe shoveling motions. Keep your knees bent, core muscles tight, and pivot to dump the snow rather than twisting.
  4. Pace yourself. Move smaller amounts of snow at a time to avoid lifting heavy loads.
  5. Take breaks. Allow your body to warm up and cool down slowly. Change your clothes during breaks if needed or immediately after shoveling.

These tips should help keep you safe and pain free. Happy Shoveling!

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