English: Fix the labeling from pelvic to sacral spine described by previous description. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Back pain and shoveling go together so well, almost to easy, why you ask, and how can you help it. This winter we have had heavy wet snow, and large amounts at that, at 8- 12 inches each time. As I sit here at my desk, looking out at the 12inch from this last wet heavy storm, I wait,I know the phone will ring, looking to book a massage for your back, from all that shoveling. So, what can you do to help relieve some of the back pain from shoveling. Prevention, and routine, this will help, may not stop some aches and pains, but will help.
Your routine and lifestyle before the snow comes will help with the back pain and shoveling. Think about this: your day consists of getting up, rushing around, coffee for breakfast, off to work for the day, hours in front of a computer, lunch is whatever you have time for, only to work late, then pick up something for dinner on the way home, most likely some type of quick and processed food. Does this sound like your day, long work hours, and not the best eating habits, and as far as time for exercise or yourself, forget it. What does this have to do with back pain and shoveling, prevention and routine.
So lets start with your daily routine. Our daily routines have so much to do with our long term health, with a few simple adjustments we can help the body deal with so many things. Look at your day, how can you make it a more balanced approach? Start with planning, plan your meals out for the week, this will eliminate that last minute grabbing for foods that are not going to best the best choice(processed foods will weigh down the system – resulting in constipation, back pain, headaches, etc) for the long term. We have a kitchen at our work, and in the mornings I come in, place my rice and vegetable in a small crock-pot, and by lunch they are ready( and smells great). Start with just your dinner then on to breakfast, this will allow you to make slow changes, and not be so much work. Another big step you can take is stretching! This will help your whole body, and you can do it throughout the day. After waking up in the morning, start with a few stretch’s, bending down to touch your toes, a few twists, then incorporate some twists, knee to chest, through out your day will keep your back lose and limber.Taking time to your self, such as walking, adding massage into your weekly routine will also help keep the body and mind in shape.
Shoveling is work, and can be very physical, so take it slow. Living in the north,New England area, their is no escaping our winter storms, so when you find that is is that time, to head out and shovel, again stop, be prepared. Heat up the muscles before going out, do some light stretches to prepare the body for work. Take your time, if you find the snow is heavy and wet, take breaks, protect the back from strain. Once you are done with your shoveling, apply ice to the area(low back,shoulders,etc.) this will help with any stiffness that may occur.
Once the storm is here, and you have snow on the ground, you will now be better equip to deal with back pain and shoveling. Just work on balancing that routine, a little prevention, along with massage, better eating habits, and exercise, will go a long way.
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