Snow Shovelling Injuries – Yes they happen!
My blog on December 14 talked about the “dangers” of shovelling snow. Well, so far this week we have had two injuries occur due to shovelling. Please remember if you are unaccustomed to exercise, this activity should be done with caution – back and shoulder injuries, as well as cardiac problems all make themselves apparent with this activity.
For those of you that are strength training and working out, you need to treat snow removal as a workout in the gym. You never jump right into your weight training without a proper warm up and you are always aware of proper body mechanics and technique when lifting weights in the gym.
Shovelling snow is no exception to this rule. You may not go through your standard warm up that you normally do at the gym, but please start slow. This is not a speed event. Take some time to allow your body to warm up before you ask it to move quickly and with a heavy load.
Use proper body mechanics. Remember your “waiter bow” position. Protect your lower back. Bend from the knees and maintain a neutral spine as much as possible. Watch the rotation through the lower back (lumbar spine). Try to change sides that you are shovelling. If you are lifting and throwing the snow, try alternating which side you hold the shovel. That way you can share the load through both wrists, elbows and shoulders.
Hopefully this snow won’t stay with us too long. But, in the meantime take it easy out there. Be careful and remember all the hints you are taught at the gym. Put them in play when you are out there in the driveway and you may prevent injuries.