Dr. Alex Jimenez, El Paso's Chiropractor
I hope you have enjoyed our blog posts on various health, nutritional and injury related topics. Please don't hesitate in calling us or myself if you have questions when the need to seek care arises. Call the office or myself. Office 915-850-0900 - Cell 915-540-8444 Great Regards. Dr. J

Shoveling Tips To Avoid Back Pain El Paso, Texas

Living in the desert means we don’t have to deal with digging/shoveling through snow and ice, but there are still proper techniques, tools, body mechanics, posture, and core strength that we should pay attention to and apply to guard our spines and general health. It is no surprise that when shoveling many individuals experience muscle fatigue, low back strain, vertebral disc damage (herniated disc), and even spinal fractures.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 126 Shoveling Tips To Avoid Back Pain El Paso, Texas

 

A great deal of these injuries come from excessive stress to spinal structures by slip and fall accidents. Shoveling is a frequent cause of back pain and injuries. Injuries are not only limited to the musculoskeletal system but excessive shoveling can also place added stress on the cardiovascular system.  Any hint of shortness of breath or chest pain, stop shoveling immediately but if symptoms continue, seek medical attention.

A study published indicated when handling heavy material with a shovel, the L5-S1 disc has been identified as the weakest link in the body. The most severe injuries along with pain are likely to occur in the back. Here are some tips to prevent injury.

Shoveling Basics

Shoveling can be compared to weight lifting and intense aerobic exercise. To help your body function correctly consider the following tips:

  • Eat long before shoveling so you have fuel but don’t cramp up.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks/beverages. Stimulants can increase heart rate and cause blood vessels to constrict.
  • If you experience pain, stop immediately and get assistance.
  • Pace yourself when shoveling.
  • Take plenty of breaks.
  • Drink plenty of water to rehydrate your body.
  • For snow, if the ground is icy or slick, throw sand or salt to help create traction. But still be aware that some areas can still be uneven and cause you to slip, trip, or fall.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 126 Shoveling Tips To Avoid Back Pain El Paso, Texas

Proper Clothing

  • Consider the weather before beginning the job.
  • When it’s cold dress in layers, wear gloves, and a hat because a good amount of body heat is lost through the head. If icy cold, use a scarf.
  • Wear clothing that is easy to move around in.
  • Proper boots are essential for maintaining balance, traction and keeping feet warm/dry.
  • Choose specialized work/blister-free gloves or thicker gloves, that allow for a good grip on the handle.

 

The Shovel That’s Right for You and the Job

Shovels come in different materials, purposes, shapes, and sizes.

  • Choose an ergonomic shovel with a curved handle. These shovels help keep your back straight and reduce spinal stress.
  • Hardware stores stock ergonomically designed shovels of all types.
  • For snow maybe try a shovel with a plastic blade instead of metal as it’s lightweight.
  • Sometimes a smaller blade is the way to go. You don’t shovel as much per load, but it weighs less and puts less strain on the spine.
  • Don’t go for a cheap model if the job you are doing is heavy-duty. Your body will thank you.

Once you have your shovel take some time to learn the proper technique.

Technique is Key

  • Take some time to stretch and prepare your body as warm muscles work better.
  • Hand placement on the shovel is very important! Don’t grip with the hands close to each other.
  • Keep some distance between the hands. This will give you more leverage and make it easier to lift.
  • Think about proper posture and maintaining the natural curve of your spine.
  • Address the task directly.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart to stay balanced.
  • Try to keep the shovel close to your body. Holding a shovelful with arms outstretched puts added weight on your spine.
  • Bend at the knees and not the waist or back.
  • Tighten your stomach muscles as you lift.
  • Lift with your legs and not your back.
  • Dump the material in front of you. If you need to move the material to the side, move your feet.
  • Do not twist your body.
  • Scoop small amounts into the shovel
  • Walk to where you want to dump it.
  • Do not throw over your shoulder.
  • Go forward with the material.

Pace yourself. Take frequent breaks and stretch your back and body.

Power Equipment

Power equipment is terrific, but if it’s not used correctly, you can still strain or injure your back.

Example: Snowblowers are designed to remove snow at a certain speed but pushing or forcing the equipment to go faster is defeating the purpose of the machine doing the work for you.

You may not realize that you hurt your back. But that little twinge you felt could change your life forever. Getting back to 100% of where you were before the injury could take time and treatment. So, do not take this activity lightly and remember prevention is the best defense.


 

Lower Back Pain Chiropractic Care El Paso, TX


 

NCBI Resources

Injuries that are caused by repetitive movements often develop gradually. It’s not until the symptoms get very painful and debilitating that the individual realizes that something is wrong. Don’t wait, as soon as you feel a tingle, slight pinch, or a little soreness and feel that it’s from your work, get in touch with a doctor or chiropractor.

 

Again, I Welcome You 👊🏻.

Our Purpose & Passions: I am a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in progressive, cutting-edge therapies and functional rehabilitation procedures focused on clinical physiology, total health, practical strength training, and complete conditioning. We focus on restoring normal body functions after neck, back, spinal and soft tissue injuries.

We use Specialized Chiropractic Protocols, Wellness Programs, Functional & Integrative Nutrition, Agility & Mobility Fitness Training and Rehabilitation Systems for all ages.

As an extension to effective rehabilitation, we too offer our patients, disabled veterans, athletes, young and elder a diverse portfolio of strength equipment, high-performance exercises and advanced agility treatment options. We have teamed up with the cities premier doctors, therapist and trainers to provide high-level competitive athletes the possibilities to push themselves to their highest abilities within our facilities.

We’ve been blessed to use our methods with thousands of El Pasoans over the last three decades allowing us to restore our patients’ health and fitness while implementing researched non-surgical methods and functional wellness programs.

Our programs are natural and use the body’s ability to achieve specific measured goals, rather than introducing harmful chemicals, controversial hormone replacement, un-wanted surgeries, or addictive drugs. We want you to live a functional life that is fulfilled with more energy, a positive attitude, better sleep, and less pain. Our goal is to ultimately empower our patients to maintain the healthiest way of living.

With a bit of work, we can achieve optimal health together, no matter the age or disability.

Join us in improving your health for you and your family.

It’s all about: LIVING, LOVING & MATTERING! 🍎

Welcome & God Bless

EL PASO LOCATIONS

Central:
6440 Gateway East, Ste B
Phone: 915-850-0900

East Side:
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste 128
Phone: 915-412-6677

Clinic Location 1

Address: 11860 Vista Del Sol Dr Suite 128
El Paso, TX 79936
Phone
: (915) 412-6677
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Webwww.DrAlexJimenez.com

Clinic Location 2

Address: 6440 Gateway East, Building B
El Paso, TX 79905
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Webwww.ElPasoBackClinic.com

Clinic Location 3

Address: 1700 N Zaragoza Rd # 117
El Paso, TX 79936
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Push As Rx Crossfit & Rehab

Address: 6440 Gateway East, Building B
El Paso, TX 79905
Phone
: (915) 412-6677
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Address: 1700 E Cliff Dr
El Paso, TX 79902
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