- Limit the amount of snow you pick up with your shovel. Wet snow and ice can be heavier than it looks. The heavier the weight and the farther you hold it away from your body the more stress you will put on your back.
- Bend and lift with your knees. Let your knees do some of the work. If you keep your knees straight and bend at the back you are forcing postural muscles to lift a heavy weight, something they are not meant to do. On the other hand, if you bend your knees and keep your back straight and your core activated you can protect your back and let your leg muscles do the work. They are much more suited for the job.
- Never lift and twist! As you lift that heavy snow make sure your back does not twist. Use your arms to throw that snow off to the side. Lifting and twisting together puts extra force on the discs in your spine and can lead to back issues.
Joseph Tobias is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, who practices in Brooklyn, NY.