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Tips to Make Shoveling Snow Safer and Easier

Posted December 22, 2014 in Adel, Altoona, Advice Column, Ames, Ankeny, Beaverdale, Bondurant, Boone, Clear Lake, Clive, Des Moines West, Downtown, Greene County, Grimes, Johnston, Norwalk, Perry, Pleasant Hill, Urbandale, Waukee, West Des Moines, Windsor Heights, Winterset


Get a good shovel.  Purchase a lightweight shovel that suits your size. Shovels with a bend in the handle are less stressful on the lower back.

Pace yourself.  Start shoveling soon after newly fallen snow so it is lighter than heavily packed snow.  Start out slowly to avoid putting too much stress on your body all at once.

Push rather than lift. Push the snow away from you rather than lift it to avoid straining or twisting your back.  Keep your back straight and avoid throwing snow over your shoulder or to the side.

Stretch before and after shoveling.  Shoveling more rigorous than most exercise routines.  Stretch your arms, legs, and back thoroughly as if you were preparing to workout at similar intensity.

Dress properly.  Warm clothing will keep your muscles warm and will make you less likely to hurry and strain a muscle. 

Listen to your body.  If you feel tightness in your chest or have any intense or unusual pain, stop right away and call your doctor.

Winter weather increases the possibility of injury and illness.  If you experience pain in your muscles and joints from falls or shoveling snow, schedule a chiropractic appointment to make sure you spine is aligned and not interfering with your body’s fullest potential.  Minor misalignments and imbalances can manifest into pain and degeneration if not properly addressed and treated. 



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