Are you a DIY enthusiast who takes care of things such as lawn mowing, shearing and snow shovelling? If so, it is essential to think about the impact of these manual activities on your back. In particular, snow shovelling involves a lot of bending and lifting, and it can cause you to strain your back muscles. When this happens, you may end up experiencing uncomfortable pain in your lower back. While manual labour is a great way of exercising the body, you need to undertake it with care to ensure that you don't end up getting hurt instead. The following are three tips that you can follow when shovelling snow to prevent hurting your back.
Get the right shovel
When it comes to choosing a shovel, you need to consider its design, material and length. The best one for your back should have a bend or an adjustable handle. This design will prevent you from bending too much; hence preventing back injuries. An adjustable shovel allows you to adjust the handle to the most comfortable length based on your height. As for the material, don't go for a heavy shovel. That's because it will cause you to exert pressure on your arm muscles, and this will strain the shoulders and back as well. Instead look for a lightweight one. Besides easing the shovelling work, light shovels also limit the amount of snow you pick at each time, and this reduces strain on your muscles.
Use the right technique
Whether you get back pain after a shovelling project depends heavily on the technique used. If you bend your back, do too much lifting, and twist only your hips when dumping the snow, you will experience back pain after the project. Train yourself to bend the knees and hips and not the back when working. Also, move around the snow and limit the number of lifts. Finally, turn the entire body when disposing of the snow. Don't twist the hips as you will hurt your lower back.
Even if you are working on a fixed schedule, don't shovel snow for a whole hour or more without taking a break. Just like exercise, you need to take breaks in between and allow the muscles to recharge before proceeding. Taking short breaks every fifteen minutes to protect your back from undue strain. If the work is too much, you can break it down and shovel the snow for two or three days. Don't play hero by doing it all at once as you will end up with a painful back.
Shovelling snow can leave your back feeling sore and tensed. Visit a chiropractor for an adjustment so that you can relieve the pain and resume normal activities.