With the winter season in full force, more people than ever are being faced with pounds and pounds of snow to deal with. This of course, means lots and lots of shoveling. Whether you have a few inches to clear off, or are still dealing with the aftermath of blizzard Jonas, shoveling can be a lot of work. While there is often little you can do to avoid shoveling, it is important that when you do have to shovel, you are taking some extra precautions to prevent injury. Shoveling snow is a great way to accidentally injure yourself and can be very hard on your back. With this in mind, make sure to keep these important tips in mind to protect your back while shoveling so you don’t get injured.shoveling-17328_1920

1. Warm up first. Stretch your arms and back and get your blood moving before you start shoveling. This can help prevent any torn muscles during shoveling.

2. Don’t forget to stretch your hamstrings. You may not notice it, but you use your hamstrings a lot while shoveling. The hamstrings are some of the easiest muscles in the bod to pull and they can put extra pressure on your low back when agitated.

3. Make sure you are using a shovel that is the right size. If the shovel has too long of a handle, it can cause you to strain when lifting heavy snow, because it is too far away from your body. If you use a shorter handle it can decrease the strain on your back.

4. Consider a shovel with a curved handle. This will prevent you from needing to bend forward when you shovel. Bending over can cause a great deal of stress on the muscles in your low back.

5. Use your legs when lifting snow. Many people don’t realize just how heavy snow really is. If you left with your back instead of bending at the hips and using your knees, you can accidentally injure yourself.

6. Don’t overdo it. If you are starting to feel tight or sore, then stop shoveling. Consider asking someone else for help, hiring a snow removal service or using a snow blower instead. You can always take a break and get back to your shoveling in the future as well.

7. Heat afterwards. If your muscles are sore or tight from shoveling, make sure to heat them in order to loosen up your muscles and give yourself some much-needed relief.

Finally, if you feel as though you have injured yourself while shoveling, or if you have slipped and fallen while shoveling, make sure that you visit your chiropractor to get checked out. So many injuries happen during the winter because of shoveling related incidents or falls. It is easy to do serious damage, slip a disc or tear a muscles and not realize it. If you are experiencing pain, visit your chiropractor right away for assistance.