Snow Shoveling can be a Pain in the Back!

As snow begins to accumulate on our sidewalks, we will have the task of getting out there and shoveling it. As with every year when we receive a good dump of snow, I will be anticipating the rush of patients suffering with low back pain.
By: Brad Landrum, DC
Feb. 1, 2010 - PRLog -- As the white stuff begins to accumulate on our sidewalks and streets, we will
have the wonderful task of getting out there and shoveling it. As with every year when
we receive a good dump of snow, I will be anticipating the rush of patients into the office suffering with acute low back pain.

    Most people are not use to a long stint of physical work that requires a lot
of low back movement and strength. So, when they challenge themselves too much,
problems often arise. The most common scenario involves an average person just like
you that may not even have arthritis or an old injury that would predispose you to having
problems. However, you may have mildly stiff joints and muscles in your back but not
enough to cause pain or restrict any regular daily activities. This means that your lower back
may have only 80% of its potential mobility and strength and you do not even know it.
This would not interfere with your work or day-to-day activities and you would not even
be consciously aware of it. However, when you go out and shovel that heavy wet snow
for an hour and demand the full 100% of your back’s potential….it cannot handle it.

    At first your back may just feel a little stiff and perhaps weak. Then, after sitting down or
relaxing for a while, the ache begins as the inflammation in the joints accumulates. If
you are unlucky enough to have the inflammation around or near a nerve, the pain will
become worse. Once the nerves are irritated, they begin to fire at a greater become “over stimulated”. Then, whatever the nerve is responsible for controlling, such as the muscles, will also function at a higher level of intensity and become “over stimulated”. This is where the muscle spasms originate. They feel like waves of sharp pain that can hit you even during the smallest of movements. You may also experience pain or tingling down one leg, commonly termed “sciatica”. At this point, it may even hurt to cough, laugh, sneeze, or to do just about anything. If you are stubborn, you will stall a day or so “waiting for it to go away”. It is then that most people slowly walk into my office. The joints in your low back would now be extremely stiff and sore.

    For any joint in our body to heal properly once it is injured, it must be able to
move properly. When it comes to restoring the proper range of motion of stiff, sore, and
inflamed joints, no health care practitioner is better trained to do it than a chiropractor.
Only when the mobility of the joints is fully restored and maintained will they heal
naturally, completely, and at a much faster rate. By restoring the normal functioning of your spine, it is able to heal faster and more efficiently. An even better treatment for low back pain from shoveling snow is prevention ofthe injury in the first place.

    The technique you use to shovel the snow is very important. Push the snow shovel in front of you. Don’t push the snow at the side of your body in a sweeping motion. This will make your low back twist repetitively and you will be forced to lean to one side. If you use this improper motion, you are just asking for a sore back. If the snowfall is deep and heavy and you have a large area to do, don’t try to shovel the entire driveway at once. The remaining snow will still be there the next day still waiting for you.

If you have any questions about your back pain give me an email at or visit my website

# # #

Dr. Brad Landrum is a chiropractor located in Hopkinsville, Ky 42240. His comprehensive, manual care clinics offer innovative soft-tissue treatments, research-based rehabilitation protocols and manipulative techniques to restore proper biomechanics.
Email:*** Email Verified
Tags:Chiropractor, Chiropractic, Snow, Back Pain, Shovel, Ice
Industry:Health, Lifestyle, Medical
Location:Kentucky - United States
Account Email Address Verified     Disclaimer     Report Abuse

Like PRLog?
Click to Share