As I write this, a major storm is approaching Denver, Colorado. The weather forecasters predict over a foot of snow in the Denver metro area, and the storm is claimed to be the biggest of the season. Like everyone else, to prepare for the storm I stocked up on food and now await the rain to turn into snow.

As a Denver chiropractor, the storms inadvertently send people to my clinic needing pain relief. The last snow storm sent me a patient with low back pain from using his snow blower, another low back case from a young man sledding, and another from a snowboarding accident. And, there is always the person that comes in with back pain from shoveling way to much snow.

Some of the worst back pain cases I’ve seen are from people doing repetitive activities with their back. Usually a flexion activity, like sustained bending over from gardening, chopping wood, or shoveling snow.

If you have some of that white stuff to move around, I would recommend shoveling in shifts. Do not wait till the end of the storm to shovel your driveway and walks when the snow is the heaviest. Give your back a break, figuratively of course, and shovel that snow when it is the lightest. When there isn’t as much of it to begin with. Although you will be shoveling more, there will be a lighter load on the back which could prevent your back pain from reoccurring.

Also, try alternating your lead arm to vary the load on system, and when lifting anything, you should always have your core engaged. Two more tips. One, the lift and twist is very bad for the disc in the back, so lift and throw that snow in front of you, not to the side. Lastly, lift with legs, and not the back, this should help you keep the natural curve in your lower back.

To Your Health,

Dr. Trent Artichoker MS, DC

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211