Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

When living in New England, snow shoveling becomes a necessary evil (unless you are able to find someone else to do it for you). Snow Shoveling Tips, DeFalco Family Chiropractic, Auburn, MAEspecially when it comes to older people, snow shoveling can cause painful strains on the muscles and can actually be hazardous to one’s health. In some rare cases, shoveling has even caused heart attacks. These following snow shoveling safety tips will help you prepare to go out in a storm without injury.


Before going out to shovel, it is important that you warm up your muscles. Chances are, the reason that you feel sore after shoveling is because you aren’t used to working the particular muscles involved. Snow shoveling tends to be a workout for just about your entire body, so you’ll want to get a good stretch.

Start with some squats. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees as far as you can while keeping your heels on the floor. Repeat this 15 times. To stretch out your arm muscles, swing your arms in a big circular motion, one arm at a time. Repeat 15 times for each arm. Roll your head in clockwise and counterclockwise circles to loosen the neck muscles. Make sure to also stretch your hamstrings by doing some lunges.

Use Proper Technique

Make sure to bend your knees when shoveling to take pressure off the back. Never simply bend at the waist.

Be Kind To Yourself

You may be tempted to push through and shovel everything in one shot. However, excessive work on the muscles is what will cause the most pain. Allowing yourself time to rest will help you have the least painful shoveling experience. Start with the most important parts—such as the walkway or a pathway for your car to get out of the driveway—take a break and finish the rest in short increments later. Make sure to stretch in between.

Proper Attire

A mixture of cold air and unprepared muscles can mean a recipe for disaster. Make sure to layer up with warm clothes so that your muscles aren’t cold and therefore more at risk for injury.

Perhaps the most damaging injury caused by shoveling is slipping on ice. Be sure to walk slowly and wear boots with good traction. You may want to consider buying spikes to attach to the bottom of your boots, as a fall on the ice could put you out of commission for weeks.

The most important snow shoveling safety tip is that if you have a history of disease such as heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis, it’s best to leave the shoveling up to someone else.

If your back has been injured or is in pain from snow shoveling, it is a good idea to see a chiropractor. Here at DeFalco Family Chiropractic, we work with you to not only relieve pain but to prevent pain in the future. Contact us to schedule your appointment today.