Winter is here, and with it comes beautiful snowflakes and a sea of white over your lawn. But snow also means a lot of work for us.
While you’re shoveling and keeping your yard in pristine condition or taking a walk in winter wonderland, you must remember to stay safe and not injure your back. The National Library of Medicine tells us that in the United States, roughly 11,500 injuries related to snow shoveling occur each year. Approximately 100 of those snow shoveling injuries are fatal.
These numbers are significant and show the importance of back injury prevention while you’re busy with outdoor activities. This article will discuss the best ways to prevent injuries and stay safe in the upcoming Winter and Spring months.
3 Ways to Protect Your Back from Injury While Shoveling Snow
Shoveling snow engages many muscle groups, including your back, arms, legs, and even your abdomen. Shoveling can be a vigorous cardiovascular exercise for not frequently active people. This can cause pain and become a health risk if certain actions are not taken to prevent back injuries.
Here are a few ways to keep your back safe from injuries:
Warm-up and cool down
It’s so common for us to wake up in the morning, see a mound of snow on the driveway and go straight out to shovel. This, in fact, is not a great idea. You should take time to warm up your body and get your blood circulation moving. Go for a 15 or 20-minute walk to warm up those muscles. After shoveling, take some time to stretch your muscles before you proceed with your day.
Bend your knees
While you are lifting snow, remember to bend your knees. This may not feel natural, but you’re giving your spine extra support when you bend your knees. If they are bent, you can give your legs more power and protect your back from bending too much.
Push the snow
If you have had a few inches of snowfall overnight and it’s time to shovel it away the next day, try to push the snow instead of lifting it. Snow can become very heavy when in mounds, and as a result, it can cause strain on your back if you’re constantly lifting the weight. If you are feeling lower backache, visit a professional for relieving physical therapy.
How to Enjoy Upcoming Spring Activities Injury-Free
Now that we’ve covered how to prevent back injuries in Winter let’s chat about how best to plan for your upcoming Spring sporting activities.
Help your body get active after the Winter
If you haven’t been on the golf course, tennis court, or soccer field since October, it’s vital that you use physical therapy to help your muscles strengthen before Spring hits. Your knees and hips can become tight over the cold season, and physical therapists can help you avoid back, knee, or hip pain when playing sports in the Spring.
Timing is everything
It’s tough to think about Spring sports amid Winter, but it’s essential that you start planning your exercise routine and get movement assessments from your physical therapist as soon as possible. This way, your body builds strength and stamina a few weeks before you start playing your chosen sport.
Use physical therapy as support Whether you’re young, old, or middle-aged, you need to take the time to take care of your body. Use physical therapy to help you build up your endurance using a personalized workout program from your therapist. These training sessions can help keep your muscles and bones in tip-top shape while you spend the time doing what you enjoy most – playing sports and enjoying the outdoors!