If you’ve lived in Western, NY for a considerable amount of time, you know that we can see snow well into March. Improper shoveling technique can lead to sore shoulders and a tight low back, especially in inactive people. Just in case another storm (or two) comes through, here are some tips for shoveling safety.


Wear Proper Footwear:

Wear shoes or boots with a solid tread on the soles to minimize the risk of slips and falls.


Use The Right Equipment:

Use a lightweight, non-stick, push-style shovel. A smaller blade will require you to lift less snow, putting less strain on your body. An ergonomically correct model with a curved handle will help prevent injury and fatigue.


Warm Up:

Just like any other activity, it’s important to warm up your muscles to cut down on strains and injuries. Before picking up your shovel, warm up for 5-10 minutes to get your joints moving and increase blood circulation. A brisk walk will do it, but feel free to add in some high knees.


Technique matters:

There is a proper technique for snow shoveling. Avoid twisting your back and bending when picking up snow. In fact, pushing the snow with your shovel is the safest option. However, if the show is too deep or heavy to push, avoid bending over and instead squat down and engage your legs to pick up the snow. Instead of just throwing the snow to it’s landing place, walk it over and let it slide off of your shovel.



Snow shoveling is taxing on your body. Make sure to drink plenty of water after working hard out in the cold. Our bodies require more water in the cold, dry months, so strive for roughly your bodyweight (in kg) in ounces. Example: 163lb person ÷2.2 = 74k = 74 ounces of water


If this message has reached you too late and you tweaked something shoveling snow this weekend, all is not lost! Our team of providers is here to help ease your aches and pains.