Shovel your way out of back pain

101 0525 768x1024 | Shovel your way out of back painIt is February, and already we have above average snow fall.  March typically has more snow than February.  So are you tired of shoveling snow?  Are you experiencing low back pain after all that  shoveling?  Here are some stretches that might help.

Pelvic Tilt

1.  Lie on back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

2.  Tighten abdomen and buttocks, pressing lower back onto the floor.  Hold for a count of 10. Release.  Repeat 5 times.

Knee To Chest

1.  Lie on back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor.  Tighten stomach muscles.

2.  Bring one knee to chest and hold for 30 seconds.  Then lower to floor and repeat with opposite leg.  Repeat 5 times.

Hamstring Stretch

1.  Lie on back and loop a towel around one foot.  Tighten stomach muscles.

2.  Keeping lower back straight, raise leg to upright position and hold.  Relax leg and repeat 5 times.  Switch to other leg.  Slowly increase holding time to 30 seconds.

Press Up

1.  Lie on your stomach and place your hands on the floor near the sides of your head.

2.  Slowly push your upper body off the floor by straightening your arms, but keep your hips on the floor.  Hold for 10 seconds, then relax your arms, moving back to the floor.  Repeat 10 times, lifting slightly higher each time.

Did you know that shoveling snow can be an aerobic workout? 

Get ready for the next snow storm and protect your back with these tips.

1.  Know your limits.  You can ask for help from family, friends or neighbors.

2.  Warm up those muscles and get the blood flowing.  Walking in place, squats, lunges, and jumping jacks are just some of the things you can do to warm up the muscles.

3.   Dress appropriately.  Wear clothing that is easy to move in.  Dress in layers.  Wear boots with good traction.

4.  If the ground is icy or slick, spread sand or salt over the area to help create foot traction.

5.  Choose a shovel that works for you.  A shovel with a curved handle helps you keep your back straighter reducing spinal stress.  A shovel with a plastic blade is lighter weight than a metal blade.  Consider a smaller blade to lighten the load.

6.  When lifting the snow filled shovel use the large muscles in your legs by bending your knees and hips.  Set your legs apart for a more stable base.

7.  Turn the whole body and then toss the snow.  If you twist and toss you are making the small back muscles do the work.

8.  If you can push the snow out of the way instead of lifting, do so.

9.  Be sure to take breaks to give your muscles some time to recover.

10.  When you finished drink plenty of water and do the stretches above.

Your back will thank You!

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