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Posted on 01-04-2017

Winter is no longer coming; it's here. And with the winter come snow, which means most of you are going to have to do some shoveling.  Every year we see people hurt their backs shoveling and many of these injuries are entirely preventable. Here are a few tips for saving your low back this winter:

1) Warm up

You wouldn't go to the gym and start doing deadlifts for the first time in 9 months without warming up first, would you? (We hope not) So do a light warm up and get your blood pumping. Some arm swings, gentle standing knee to chest stretches, and 10-20 bodyweight squats are a few good things to do before you go out there and move the snow. Speaking of squats...

2) Lift with your legs

What does everybody mean by lift with your legs? Stick your butt back, bend your knees, and keep your low back straight as you move your shovel down, and lift yourself up with your leg muscles. Don't lock your knees, bend forward from your low back, and try to lift all that snow with your low back muscles. Most shoveling injuries are due to excessive loading of the lumbar spine in a flexed (bent forward) position. If you can avoid that, you'll significantly lower your risk of low back injury this winter.

3) Don't be a hero

We all want to get finished with shoveling as quickly as possible, but don't get ahead of yourself and try to scoop up 30 pounds of wet snow with each scoop. Remember, wet snow is heavy, and if you're not used to lifting heavy things, even immaculate lifting technique might not save you from a low back (or shoulder) injury if you overdo it. You also probably don't need to throw your shovel-full of snow 15 feet away in a heaving, jerking motion. Take the extra 3 steps and save your back.

Take care of yourself and your back this winter!

From your friends at NCC

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I came to see Dr. Lowey for low back pain that spread into my hip and leg. I had been suffering with this for about six months. Dr. Ken has given me outstanding treatment; I'm pain free! So if you ask me how I feel about Chiropractic - this is what I would say "Won't leave home without it

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