Snow Shoveling Tips


How to Shovel Snow without injuring yourself!, by Dr. Venuti


Every winter, there are a huge number of cases of backaches, sore muscles and ankle sprains caused by snow shoveling done the incorrect way. Sometimes it can even result in vertebral disc damage or spinal fractures. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 16,500 hospital emergency admissions for manual snow shoveling related injuries in 2009.

While it is inevitable to carry out this task during the winter season, by taking some necessary precautions you can avoid injuring yourself and actually enjoy this winter time activity.

Warm Up Properly

Just like any other exercise, it is very important to warm up prior to starting the activity. This is because warm, relaxed muscles respond better to physical activity than stiff, cold ones. People who exercise regularly know this secret well. So put your exercise hats on and warm up your body with some light jogging or marching before you start ridding your driveway of the snow.


Use an Ergonomic Shovel


Use a lightweight shovel with a curved handle, allowing you to keep your back straight and safe from any potential back pain. Also see to it that the shovel is the right height for you in order to avoid unnecessary bending over or awkward grip.


Push instead of Lifting


Instead of trying to lift loads of snow and putting your back and muscles at higher risk for injury, try pushing the snow instead. Use a smaller blade for this purpose, which only allows you to pick up as much load.


Bend your Legs, not your back


Use your legs to bend instead of your back. This will prevent any additional pressure on your spine and back muscles.


Do it Frequently, take breaks


Do not wait until there is a heavy load of hard snow completely blocking your sidewalk or driveway. Shovel often so that you do not have to do lots of work at one time. And when you do it, make sure to listen to your body. Do not take muscle fatigue or soreness lightly. Take ample breaks between working.


Stay Hydrated


Drink plenty of water and fluids before during and after shoveling snow. Staying hydrated is equally important no matter what type of physical activity you undertake.


Stretch Afterwards


Do some basic stretches after completing your snow shoveling mission. This will prevent you from experiencing any pains, aches or discomfort later on.



If you have questions for Dr. Venuti regarding back health, or would like more information about Restorative Health Center, please call 847-548-4800 to schedule an appointment.


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Dr. Nick is great!!! I always thought Chiropractors were quacks, I was GREATLY mistaken!! I have had some neck issues and back issues over the years and my regular doctor has only prescribed me muscle relaxors, which only masked the pain. I don't like taking them, because I don't like taking drugs and the sluggish effects they bring you. I have taken these muscles relaxors and still have the same problems, nothing had been resolved! I am a very active person and I don't choose to be taking all this medication and having the horrible side effects and left with the same problem. Going to Dr. Nick has been amazing! He has really helped me and helped with the pain and has effectively solved my issues and has brought back the moblity to my neck and back! I am back to all the activities I have not been able to do prior! He is very easy to talk to and is a great listener and he has given me great exercises to do along with the treatment. My pain has ceased and I feel great!! I strongly reccommend Dr. Nick and will continue to refer him to everyone I can!----J.P.


Dr. Venuti and his staff are incredible.  They are friendly, professional, and really LISTEN to your concerns.  They really work as a team to treat your muscle/spine issues.  I used to be skeptical of chiropractic care, but not anymore!----S.V.

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