How to avoid injury during shoveling!
First of all this is based on my personal experience as well as that of our clients. If you are over 40 with a sedentary life style, history of heart disease, low back pain, high blood pressure, lumbar or cervical disc herniation without resolution then, please, just pay someone to remove your snow!
First warm up! Get those hamstrings, glutes, quads, hip flexors, shoulders, and neck.
neck stretches front to back
Wear proper gear! If it is a blizzard put vaseline (or something similar) on your exposed areas of your face to prevent wind burn.
YOU SHOULD FEEL THE FRONT OF YOUR BODY, SQUADS, CORE, FRONT OF SHOULDERS WHEN SHOVELING. IF YOU FEEL IT IS YOUR BACK OR NECK YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!
use your legs - push snow when at all possible
keep your head facing the same way as your toes to keep from twisting your back left to right
when picking up snow bend your knees, scoop the snow, then power back up with legs
also while picking up the snow keep your neck in neutral, move your eyes instead
walk the snow where you want it put it and throw it forward off of your shovel
IF YOU START TO USE YOUR BACK STOP AND TAKE A BREAK
do not keep going when you are tired
do not use your back
do not twist your body
do not twist you head
After you are done shoveling take some time to cool down and stretch those sore muscles!
MOST IMPORTANTLY: IF YOU DO HURT YOURSELF GET IN TO SEE US AS FAST AS YOU CAN, AND GENTLY STRETCH, DO NOT LAY ON YOUR BACK COMPLETELY STILL HOURS AT A TIME. THE LONGER YOU WAIT THE HARDER IT IS FOR US TO RESOLVE.