Snow Shoveling Blues
Jenny Sandstrom, PTA
This week at OrthoRehab clinics, we have seen patients singing some snow shoveling blues, even if they are coming to physical therapy with an injured hand, knee replacement or symptoms totally unrelated to back pain. Montana has packed a full winter into the month of February, and we are paying the price if we are not careful with our body mechanics.
Our bodies have muscles that can protect our spine when in motion better than any weightlifting belt on the market, IF we activate them before moving. Whether it is reaching down for a pen on the floor or getting into the car, we need to activate our core muscles, and stabilize our spine. If we don’t, our low back or lumbar muscles feel they need to overcompensate for front and back stability and that makes them resentful and angry. If a small motion like picking up a pen or turning in the kitchen can cause our low back to work harder, imagine how lumbar muscles react to the repeated strain of moving the snow that has piled up in your driveway. It is not pretty, as you may well know…
Here are a few ways to strengthen our core muscles and learn how to activate them before motion to the spine.