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March 28, 2020

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Snow shoveling tips - it doesn't have to cause back pain

Snow shoveling is one of those things that no one likes to do, but most of us have to do, living in northwest Ohio,” says Wanda Dean, MSPT of Northwest Physical Therapy.

“What often accompanies this chore is the aching back and the heating pad, making the rest of your day miserable.”  Dean said, “There are some things we can all do to prevent injury and make snow shoveling a chore that doesn’t have to cause pain.”

Here are some tips to keep you healthy and pain-free this winter while shoveling snow:

Keep your loads light. Try to limit the amount of snow you shovel each time to something you can comfortably lift – be extra cautious with wet snow and ice, as this can add a lot of weight.

Use your knees to lift – not your back.  Keep your back straight when shoveling snow and use your knees and legs to lift the load.  By focusing on keeping your back straight while shoveling – your soreness and pain will be greatly diminished.

Try to find a shovel with a shorter handle. A shorter shovel handle will reduce the stress on your back when lifting the snow and will promote lifting with your legs instead of your back.

Take frequent breaks. Snow shoveling can be taxing on your body – even when you do it correctly.  Standing back bends are great to help reverse the soreness that repetitive bending can place on your back.

Northwest Physical Therapy, Inc. is a privately-owned, independent therapy provider offering physical, occupational and speech therapy.  Northwest Physical Therapy has been serving the Northwest Ohio area for more than 27 years.

• NWPT has an office at the Bluffton Family Recreation, 215 Snider Road.
• Other offices are in Ottawa, Delphos and Lima.
• Website: www.NorthwestPhysicalTherapy.com

• Phone: 419-523-9003, ext. 603