Why Shoveling Snow Is A Pain (In The Shoulder)


Whether you are happy to see that pretty snow fall or dreading the work ahead of you clearing that driveway, winter is definitely upon us.

But cold weather chores can be less painful – physically, at least – if you remember these quick tips to alleviate pain in your back and shoulders when shoveling.

  • It’s all in the legs. Generally, women tend to have more leg strength, while men have more upper body and arm strength. But shoveling requires you to use muscles in your whole body. Keeping your abs engaged will help you strengthen your core (and who doesn’t love multitasking?), while bending your knees slightly will make sure your quadriceps do the heavy lifting.
  • Watch your posture. Remember to bend from the waist – don’t hunch. A semi-squat will help you avoid putting undue strain on your shoulders and back and avoid that nagging next day soreness.
  • Shorter and quicker is better. Using quick, short strokes to gather the snow closest to you is always preferable to trying to drag the bulk along. Reaching too far can cause muscle pain, so keep your movements choppy, not long.
  • Work in layers. Don’t try to tackle a whole area all at once. Remove snow in layers if need be. It helps avoid fatigue and injury caused by taking on too much at once.
  • Alternate sides. Wet snow can feel much heavier than powder, and removing it can be an arduous process. Take periodic breaks, and don’t forget to switch sides once in a while. Your muscles will thank you for it.

Always remember to dress warmly (kids too!) and wear slip-resistant boots, stay hydrated, and listen to your body’s cues.

If you need care, will you know where to go? Check out our same-day care and ER options to help you get the right care when you need it.

Categories: MoveWell