Canadian Chiropractors Warn About Improper Snow Shoveling

An article that appeared in the January 28, 2004 issue of the Parry Sound "North Star" started with the headline, "Don't throw your back out while throwing snow". The article warns readers about the possible spinal problems that can result from Improper Snow Shoveling.

Dr. Dean Wright, president of the Ontario Chiropractic Association stated in the article, "Chiropractors are finding that some patients experience back and muscle pain as a result of improper snow shoveling technique." He continued, "Improper technique can be anything from bending at the waist instead of at the knees to throwing snow instead of pushing it. When you combine improper technique with the average weight of one shovelful of snow, three to five kilograms, the result can be a serious problem for both adults and the children who help them."

Dr. Kristina Peterson, a chiropractor in Thunder Bay added, "Back problems can surface in patients during the winter, especially those who are unaccustomed to participating in challenging physical activity on a regular basis. Activities requiring exertion, such as winter sports or pushing a stranded car, can lead to back injuries. However, snow shoveling, slips and falls are the top reasons patients present with back and muscle pain in the winter."

To help prevent problems, the Ontario Chiropractic Association offers the following preventive tips: