Winter firmly has us in its grasp!
And with winter comes snow, and in Toronto, the snow is often wet and heavy. This means you will need proper snow shoveling techniques to help save your spine!
Here are some chiropractic tips to help save your spine when you have to shovel snow:
1. Pick a lightweight, ergonomic shovel. This helps to eliminate the amount of weight you will have to lift and can help you get into the proper position for lifting.
2. Make sure you are properly warmed up. A lot of injuries can be prevented just be being properly warmed up before you begin shoveling. During winter, you often need a longer warm up period to get your body loose and ready. Go for a walk around the house, swing your arms in circles and back and forth. Once you start to get a light sweat going, you are good and warmed up. Now it's time to shovel!
3. Dress warmly. This will help to keep your body loose while you shovel! Using layers can allow you to remove layers if you get too hot. Some jackets have ventilation zippers, this can also help to keep you regulated.
4. Wear non-slip boots. Wearing a good set of boots with anti-slip tread helps to reduce the chance of falling and also provides you a sturdy platform on which is shovel.
5. Use proper technique. For the most part you want to push the snow versus trying to lift and throw it. Push it as far as you can, and when you need to lift, square yourself to where you are going to throw it and bend at the knees and keep your spine straight. Make sure your legs and shoulders are doing most of the work.
6. Don't try and lift too much. Use small shovel loads. The snow tends to be wet and heavy in Toronto.
7. Take breaks. If you are getting tired, rest until you are ready to resume.
8. Stay hydrated and make sure to stretch afterwards!
These tips will help you to save your spine this winter. It is ALWAYS a good idea to have your spine checked by a chiropractor before starting regular shoveling. If you do notice any tension or aches and pains, call your chiropractor right away to get checked out. If you need a chiropractor in Toronto. Give us a call and we can get your spine checked. If you need a referral outside of Toronto for a chiropractor, send us an email and we can refer you to someone near you!