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Why does my back hurt after shoveling?

Back Pain Shoveling Snow Lifting Heavy New Lenox Chicago Chiropractic Physical Therapy MVP Chiro PT 60451 60602

While some soreness after strenuous activity is normal, significant pain is likely a result of lifting incorrectly, overusing weak muscles, and choosing the wrong equipment. Shoveling requires back and core strength to stabilize the spine but most of the lifting should be done with the legs. It is important to take your time and use a wider, heavier push shovel with a long handle to push the snow into position and then use a lighter, ergonomic shovel for lifting and throwing. This will decrease the amount of bending and lifting, as well as the distance you have to throw snow. Remember not to do the lifting with the heavier push shovel as it will tear up your back. 

You should prepare for shoveling by routinely doing exercises to maintain leg, hip and core strength. Doing regular glute bridges, squats, and lunges daily will help maintain leg strength. Strengthening core and pelvic floor muscles is key to stabilizing the spine. Repetitive flexion activities such as sitting or bending decrease the effectiveness of these muscles and allow them to become dysfunctional. If you have back pain from shoveling that just won’t quit it’s time to learn how to strengthen and stabilize your spine. 

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