Winter Safety Tips from Spine-health

As record-cold temperatures and hazardous winter weather conditions sweep across the country, shares important safety tips for preventing winter back injuries.

January 30, 2019

A polar vortex is wreaking havoc across much of the country with widespread, dangerously cold temperatures, intense snowfall, and hazardous conditions. Veritas Health, publisher of, encourages those in areas that are impacted by winter weather to take the following precautions to prevent back injuries:

  • Shoveling snow is a common cause of back pain and injury, but it doesn’t have to be. Get an ergonomic snow shovel. One with a curved handle or adjustable handle length can cut down on painful bending and arching. A small, lightweight blade on the shovel can help reduce the amount weight you pick up, further decreasing chance of injury.

  • Use your legs, not your back. When you reach down to shovel snow, bend at the knees without rounding your lower back. To lift the snow, push up with your legs instead of letting your back muscles do the work. Wear a back brace or lifting belt to help encourage correct posture.

  • Keep your movements compact. Avoid twisting your body to the side to move snow or tossing snow with your arms extended. Always square your shoulders and face the snow you are shoveling. Carry the shovel close to your body while you walk over to the spot you want to deposit snow.

  • If you feel yourself falling, try to land on your side or buttocks. Don't fight the fall—try to roll naturally, allowing your head to turn in the direction of the roll.

    Keeping these tips in mind will lessen the chances of developing new back problems or worsen existing low back pain. For more snow shoveling tips and ways to protect your back during the winter season, visit

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