Is low-back pain keeping you down? Calgary has recently experienced colder temperatures with record-breaking amounts of snow. Between shoveling snow and scraping sidewalks, Calgarians are recently experiencing more episodes of low-back pain! Anyone who has experienced back pain knows how debilitating, painful, and depressing the pain can become.
So what is the best course of action for these suffering Calgarians? Addressing the root cause of the problem will speed healing, and can help bring about increased stability.
Research proves that low-back pain is best treated with a combination of treatments, including chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, and rehabilitative exercises. Devices such as lower back support belts, soft tissue manipulation (such as Graston® or ART) and pain management medication can be added when appropriate. The ideal treatment will be specifically tailored to each individual.
However, the best treatment is prevention!!
- Warm up before going outside to shovel. Try marching in place and touching your toes.
- Keep your back and core adequately strong and flexible all winter long.
- Push the snow, avoid lifting, as much as possible.
- With deep snow, skim off the top layer of snow, don’t try to get it all in one scoop.
- Switch your lead hand, left arm forward, then right & switch grip palm under and palm over.
- Take frequent breaks
- And always ask for help.
- When lifting snow (which occasionally does have to be done), bend mostly at your knees instead of your back.
- Do not twist at the waist while shoveling. Turn your whole body by stepping around with your feet.
- Try those ergonomic (bent handle shovels) to reduce the strain on your back when moving snow. They work really well for some people.
If you do get injured, stop shoveling immediately. Continued exertions will make things worse. Rest for a while, then gently stretch the painful area. If the pain does not start to subside by the end of the day, seek professional help soon to reduce the suffering. Your chiropractor will be able to guide you through the painful period with proper advise for your activity and treatment and can provide you with assistance to rehabilitate your back to avoid re-injury, if necessary.