Snow Shoveling Technique: How to Protect Your Back and Joints

Removing,Snow,With,A,Shovel,After,Snowfall Snow shoveling is a standard part of winter life in New York, but it is the cause of many back and neck injuries. Over 11,500 people are injured every year shoveling snow, and most injuries can be prevented.

In this post, we will show you how to prevent snow-shoveling injuries to protect your back and joints this winter.

Choose the Right Type of Shovel

Choose a shovel designed for snow rather than a heavy-duty shovel that could strain your back. Opt for a lightweight design that is no heavier than 3 pounds; a curved handle can also help reduce back strain and make it easier to lift snow.

When it comes to length, ensure the handle reaches your chest to prevent excessive spinal extension. Staying upright as you shovel places less strain on your back.

Warm-Up Properly

Lifting snow is strenuous on your body, so you should thoroughly warm up beforehand. Start with light stretching to lubricate your joints and gently stretch your muscles. A brisk walk will also help prepare your body and heart for the task. Muscles that have been warmed up effectively are less likely to sustain a strain or tear.

Wear the Right Footwear

Ensure you have fitted snow boots with deep grooves along the soles for added traction. This will help prevent a slip-and-fall injury. The unique design of snow boots offers additional support at varying snow depths, keeping you balanced at all times.

Load Your Shovel Properly

You should always bend at the knees and lift with the legs, pushing up through your feet rather than lifting with your spine. Keep your back straight as you move snow to the side, and avoid twisting your torso.

Take Regular Breaks

Although it can be tempting to plow through a mountain of snow, it is better to lift lighter loads and take frequent breaks to avoid overexerting yourself. Rest for five minutes after 10-15 minutes of shoveling.

Snow-Shoveling Injury? We Can Help

Please contact us at the Orthopedic Associates of Long Island (OALI) if you have become injured while shoveling show. Our passionate team of orthopedic experts will perform a careful assessment and recommend appropriate care.

You can find our offices at eight locations throughout New York, and we are open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., for your convenience.

To request an appointment, please call 631-689-6698 or submit your request online.

Get in Touch

* All indicated fields must be completed.
Please include non-medical questions and correspondence only.

Our Offices


6 Technology Drive
Suite 100
East Setauket, NY 11733


500 Commack Road
Suite 150B
Commack, NY 11725


715 Roanoke Ave.
Building A, Ste. 3
Riverhead, NY 11901


6144 Route 25A
Building A Suite 4 & 5
Wading River, NY 11792


2112 Middle
Country Road
Centereach, NY 11720


55 Medford Avenue
Suite E
Patchogue, NY 11772


325 Meeting House Lane
Building One
Southampton, NY 11968


60 Fleets Point Drive
Suite 1
West Babylon, NY 11704

Accessibility Toolbar

OALI Walk In Hours
Scroll to Top