When shoveling, remember it’s not a race, if it’s too cold and you’re rushing, take a break. Stretch. The key is to keep a steady pace, as to not exhaust yourself. When that happens, your body is more prone to not maintaining proper support.
Stay bundled up in warm clothing while outside, wear a few layers. Dress in the right gear: the warmest gear that allows for an ease of motion. Comfortable and durable outerwear will provide necessary support while working. (Women, try to wear clothes that shape to your body.) Wear the right footwear, a shoe with a rubber sole needs to be in optimal condition, because it can provide traction and support on snowy, icy areas. (This is key to not slipping, which can create and exacerbate pain conditions easily.)
The cold weather stiffens your muscles, so warming up and stretching as well as light lifting will keep you limber, improving your performance and reducing the likelihood of any strain. Big TV watcher? Force yourself to take a stretch break during commercials, or set time aside to stretch in the mornings and evenings. Keep your lower back fit with a home exercise routine.
Your muscles won’t contract which will keep your nerve endings warm.) Maintain a healthy home exercise program to strengthen your back.
Make stretching a routine in training. Doctors are unified in advising that it’s important to stay active. Keeping limber can reduce pressure on muscle tendons and ligaments. This keeps your joints from getting stiff and starting pain. (Swim in a heated pool to minimize joint pain.)
As Dr. Sandra Fryhofer said, maintain proper form. You want to lift with your legs and not your back, knees bent while lifting, and don’t bend or twist.
If an ergonomic shovel is not possible, try a plastic one rather than a metal one. The idea being to use lighter tools. Make use of a wheelbarrow.
Make sure to not be assumptive in the thought that freshly fallen snow can have a layer of ice hidden beneath the surface.
Overall, restrict your outdoor activities during this frigid time.
Maintain healthy supplements: Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin C help retain healthy joints.
Avoid binge eating during the holiday season. This extra weight stresses your body and can cause acute back pain.
Try a heating pad on sensitive areas.
For more information on preventing winter back pain, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI.