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Treatment for Muscle Strain & Back Pain From Shoveling

Shovelling-Snow-And-Back-Pain

Treatment for Muscle Strain or Back Pain from Shoveling Snow

With winter coming ahead, many people are dreading the long hours that come with shoveling snow. In winter, we might forget our mittens or boots or we might even forget our posture when it comes to cleaning our driveway. Snow and ice create a hazardous situation for everyone. If you or someone you know has experienced muscle strain or back pain from shoveling snow, you probably are aware of the dangers involved. Muscle strain or back pain from shoveling snow is very common. Muscles are strained when a muscle that has already been stretched is abruptly forced to contract. What this usually looks like is the muscle receiving a direct blow, the patient falling, or often-simple overuse or overstretching causing the muscle fibres to tear. The symptoms of a strained muscle usually involve noticeable loss of strength to the muscle, acute pain in the muscle itself, and the inability to use the muscle without causing further pain. Swelling is also often present in a muscle strain.

How can a chiropractor help with your winter injuries?

Fortunately, chiropractors are ready and willing to treat people with shovelling injuries. The number one goal is to return the patient back to a healthy form in no time! As a chiropractor, we will determine what is causing your winter pain. A comprehensive exam will be done to determine what is causing your pain. This exam includes taking a medical history, assessing the injury and evaluating the body. Once a diagnosis has been determined based on the injury, the chiropractor will then treat the area with various techniques including but not limited to:

  • Soft tissue therapy
  • Joint mobilizations/manipulations
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Pain- relieving modalities

How to protect your back from the cold?

Besides dressing properly for the snow and using the proper shovel there are a few tips that you can follow to make shovelling safer for your back!

  • Stability: Make sure to stand with your feet hip-width apart. This helps to maintain balance and prevent any slip and fall accidents when shovelling.
  • Lift with your legs: When lifting the snow bend from your knees and not your back. Not only does this prevent injuries to the back, but it can also strengthen your legs.
  • Keep the shovel close to your body: Make sure to keep the weight close to your body to prevent straining or pulling a muscle. When the snow is deep, try not to gather all the snow at the same time but rather shovel smaller amounts.
  • Don’t twist: When lifting the snow avoid twisting your back. Try to move your feet in the direction you want to place the snow to maintain good form.
  • Engage your core: When lifting tightens your stomach muscles to help protect your back.
  • Be safe and happy shoveling!

Laurent Pinci
Laurent Pinci
Pillars of Wellness is a truly Integrated Healthcare Centre providing a high degree of collaboration and communication among health providers.
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