Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! With the record breaking snowfall this winter, most of us are out in the cold, shovelling the snow to keep our driveways and walkways clear and prevent slips and falls. With all of the heavy lifting comes low back pain and often an unplanned visit to the Chiropractor. While we are always here to treat our patients at the Oakville Chiropractic Centre, we would also like to avert these symptoms with some simple, yet effective techniques.

Consider this. Before you hit the gym, play a sport or are get ready for any type of physical activity, it is recommended that you stretch beforehand. An athlete would not hesitate stretching before a game. With that said, shovelling the driveway is much more physical than most people realize and it does warrant some stretching and warming up your body. Try the recommended techniques by Chiropractor Dr. Brian Huggins before shovelling or doing other strenuous activity on the body:

Chest to Knee
Lay down or your back or stand with your back against a wall, pull your knee to your chest 6-10 times (do not overexert yourself).

Arm Circles
Stretch both of your arms out straight (so you are in the shape of a T). Start moving your arms counterclockwise and make the motion of creating small circles. Increase the size of the circles until your arms are making the biggest circle you can create. Then change to clockwise and bring down the size of the circle from large to small circles.

V Stretch
Overlap your elbows creating an X in front of your body (right arm above left arm). Bend your left arm into the shape of a V and with your left arm slowly pull your right arm towards your body (without straining yourself). Then repeat with the other arm.

Neck Stretches
Bring your right ear to your right shoulder (without straining yourself) and hold for 5-7 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Turn your head to the right as far as you can comfortably turn without straining yourself and hold for 5-7 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Hip Rotations
Rotate your hips (like a hula hula hula hoop) both clockwise and counterclockwise. Repeat 5-10 rotations both ways.

When shovelling, use longer handled tools to take some of the pressure off your back. Be sure to push as much as you can opposed to lifting…this will save your spine!

Lastly, remember to dress appropriately, nothing super tight fitted. When you begin shovelling, take it one pile at a time. Break the area down into smaller areas and tackle each section while remembering to rest and evaluate how your body is handling the shovelling.

Remember the ounce of prevention is well worth the pound of cure. If you have any questions or need to setup an appointment, please give us a call at 905-845-2291 or click here to fill out a form on our website.


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