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When the first snow falls, the tendency is to dig out the shovel and start at it. However a little forethought and preventative action can prevent a little bit of snow from becoming a large pain the back.

The other option, not shoveling at all also has a down side, in other words a slip and fall and injury for you or family or the letter carrier. In Thunder Bay it’s good to keep your back in shape because shoveling can go on from November to April or May.

When you are removing the snow try not to throw the white stuff, because this can strain your back, especially if it is the wet and heavy type of downfall. The best alternative is o carry it to where you want to place it. Related to the previous point, is o avoid twisting your body. Instead, let your feet change rotation, keeping your body straight.

To avoid a slip and fall when shoveling, a couple of ideas will help. Keep your feet wider to lessen you chance of losing your balance, and ensure that your footwear have a good grip so they won’t slide. Use the muscles of your stomach and the side abdominal muscles and tighten them before grabbing a shovel full. This strengthens and protects the back during the lifting motion.

Ensure that the shovel is close to your body. The further it is away from you, the larger the forces in your lumbar spine. The standard advice in lifting also applies, namely lift with your legs not with your back. Try to keep your back straight and bend at the knees when lifting

Finally to shovel, take it easy based on your fitness level. If you are sedentary and don’t exercise, doing to much can be dangerous, so do it slowly and for short periods of time to be safe.

If you have any questions please give our office a call today!

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