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PT Minute- Snow Shoveling and Back Pain

Dec16th 2011

Snow shoveling can be hard on your back, not just from moving heavy snow, but also from the postures that are used.

A rounded back places greater strain on the discs, muscles and other structures of the spine.  The safer posture is a flat back with the hips pushed back.  This is known as a hip hinge.

To work the hip hinge, simply place a stick along the spine touching the head, mid-back and tailbone.  Slightly bend your knees and push the hips back.  The stick should stay in contact with all 3 points.  Go as far as you can without losing contact.  The goal would be to feel a good stretch in the hamstrings.

This can be a difficulty move for many.  If so, practice the hip hinge pattern on your hands and knees first.  With a water bottle across the low back, push the hips back toward the heels maintaining a slight spinal curve.  If you lose the water bottle, you’ve lost posture.

Stay within a comfortable range of motion with perfect posture, and absolutely no pain.  Perform 10 repetitions to re-establish your hip hinge prior to taking on the snow.

Here is the link to the PT minute video:  PT Minute – Snow shoveling and Back Pain

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