Even though the holiday season has passed, the challenges of winter in Etobicoke and Oakville are still very much present. With January’s heavy snowfall, shovelling becomes a necessity for many of us. However, it’s crucial to approach this task with caution to prevent injuries, particularly to your back.
Understanding the Risk of Back Pain
Shovelling can be more strenuous than many realize. It involves heavy lifting and repetitive movements, often in cold temperatures, which can increase the risk of muscle strain. This can lead to back pain, a common issue that affects a significant portion of the population at some point in their lives.
Tips for Safe Shovelling
To help you shovel snow safely and efficiently, consider these tips:
- Take Frequent Breaks: Shovelling for extended periods can put excessive strain on your back. Take regular breaks to rest and stretch.
- Practice Proper Form: Keep your back straight and lift with your knees. Push the snow rather than lifting it whenever possible. When you do need to lift, bend at the knees and use the strength of your legs.
- Controlled Movements: Perform slow, controlled movements to reduce the risk of jerking motions that can strain your muscles.
- Stay Hydrated: Even in cold weather, staying hydrated is vital. Drinking water helps keep muscles functioning correctly.
Exercises to Strengthen Your Back
Incorporating back-strengthening exercises into your routine can significantly reduce the risk of injury. Here are some exercises to consider:
- Cat-Cow Stretch: This yoga pose helps increase flexibility in your spine. Start on your hands and knees, arch your back towards the ceiling, and then scoop your abdomen downwards.
- Bird Dog: From a crawling position, extend one arm and the opposite leg, keeping your abdominal muscles engaged. Alternate sides.
- Prone Press-Up: Lie face down and use your arms to lift your upper body, keeping your hips and legs relaxed.
- Bridge: Lie on your back with knees bent. Tighten your abdominals and buttocks, lifting your hips to form a bridge. Hold, then lower and repeat.
How Physiotherapy and Massage Therapy Can Help
Physiotherapy is an excellent way to manage and prevent back pain. It involves personalized exercises and treatments to strengthen your back, improve flexibility, and enhance your overall physical health. Massage therapy, on the other hand, can be a complementary treatment to physiotherapy. It helps relieve muscle tension, increase blood flow, and promote relaxation, which can be particularly beneficial after the physical exertion of shovelling snow.
At New Age Physio, our team of skilled physiotherapists and massage therapists is dedicated to helping you enjoy a pain-free winter. Whether you’re dealing with back pain from shovelling or looking for ways to strengthen your back, we’re here to support your health and wellness journey. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you stay active and pain-free this winter.
Shockwave Therapy SWT