Shoveling Snow Doesn’t Have to Hurt

Winters in Calgary are generally not as mild as we are seeing this year and snow shoveling often is the cause of patients seeking chiropractic care after an injury to the lower or mid-back.


One of two following scenarios is the typical cause of injury. After shoveling for a while, a person’s low back may fatigue, resulting in a rounding of the low back when lifting. Lifting while the low back is rounded leaves an individual susceptible to a lower back injury. Rounding the back pushes the lumbar discs posteriorly, and adding the weight of shoveling can increase this potentially damaging situation. Maintaining a flat low back when lifting can make a big difference in injury prevention. The second potentially dangerous mechanism occurs while tossing the snow from the shovel. The twisting movement with planted feet and a loaded shovel can aggravate the facet joints on the side that the snow is being shoveled towards. Pain can be felt in the low back or all the way up to the ribs. After loading the shovel, simply turning the lead foot towards the direction the snow is being thrown can greatly reduce the potential of injury.


As chiropractors, we are extremely familiar with correctly diagnosing and providing treatment for injuries that develop through either of these mechanisms. We can be your solution!

Snow happens, shovel safe. Also keep in mind that heart attacks happen at a higher frequency when our elderly are shoveling their snow. Being a helping hand can save a life.

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