How To Shovel Snow Without Back And Shoulder Pain!

As a Wisconsin resident, I have seen some serious snow this past week.  As a Doctor of Physical Therapy, I have also seen quite a few injuries related to some serious snow fall.  The most common injuries I see are back pain and shoulder pain from shoveling.

People will arrive in my office 1-2 months following a heavy snowstorm and say, "Do you remember that real big snowfall 1-2 months ago? Yeah, that's when I started hurting."

I created a video on Facebook on how to shovel snow without back and shoulder pain for this reason. 

I encourage you to watch the video and learn how your legs should do most of the work so that your back and shoulder don't have to.

Other tips for snow removal:

  1. Use a snow blower if you have one available
  2. Recruit help if you can - other family members or pay for snow removal service
  3. Take short breaks every 20 minutes if you will need to be shoveling for more than that
  4. Stay hydrated by drinking water every 20-30 minutes (yes, it is possible to get dehydrated in the winter)
  5. Protect your skin - dress appropriately for the cold and wind plus wear sunblock on your face (yes, you can get sunburn and windburn in the winter)
  6. Refuel your body - eat healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains to boost your immune system, regain energy from the increased exertion with shoveling, and to promote healthy skin
  7. Relax after work well done - essential oils for muscle aches and overall relaxation are a great way to facilitate muscle recovery following increased activity
  8. Physical Therapy - if aches and pains following shoveling snow or other activities don't go away within 7-10 days, they probably aren't going away on their own. Studies have shown that people who seek physical therapy within 10 days of an  injury are less likely to require pain medication or surgery - that translates to decreased risk of opioid addiction and decreased money lost from missed time at work or the cost of surgery itself


To Your Best Health,

Dr. Jeanette


P.S. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask! Contact Dr. Jeanette at by visiting for in-office services or for online services.




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