Winter in Troy, Michigan brings with it the beauty of falling snow and of course, the necessity of shoveling snow. Unfortunately for many, this chore translates into back pain due to shoveling snow. But did you know there are exercises that can help alleviate back pain after shoveling snow? Let’s dive into four of them.
Understanding Snow Shoveling-Related Back Pain
Before we discuss these exercises, it’s essential to understand why shoveling snow can cause back pain, including middle back pain after shoveling and lower back pain after shoveling.
4 Exercises for Back Pain Relief After Snow Shoveling
Now, let’s dive into the four exercises that can help provide relief from “back pain from shoveling.
Stretch 1: Child’s Pose
The child’s pose is a gentle stretch that can help alleviate back pain after shoveling snow by extending the lower back and relaxing the muscles. To perform the child’s pose, start by kneeling on the floor or a mat with your knees hip-width apart and your feet together behind you. Sit back on your heels and reach your arms forward, lowering your torso between your knees. Extend your arms as far as they can comfortably go, feeling a gentle stretch along your back. Rest your forehead on the ground, relaxing into the stretch. Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds, breathing deeply. Make sure to keep your stomach relaxed, allowing it to drop towards your thighs to deepen the stretch.
Stretch 2: Cat-Cow Stretch
The cat-cow stretch is a yoga pose that can increase flexibility and relieve tension in the spine, making it a great exercise for back pain after shoveling snow. To perform the cat-cow stretch, start on your hands and knees with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips. This is the ‘cow’ part of the stretch.
Inhale and drop your belly towards the floor as you lift your chin and chest, gazing up toward the ceiling, broadening across your shoulder blades.
As you exhale, draw your belly to your spine and round your back toward the ceiling. The pose should look like a cat stretching its back. Release your head toward the floor, but don’t force your chin to your chest.
Alternate between ‘cat’ and ‘cow,’ matching the movement to your own breath. Repeat this sequence 5-10 times.
Stretch 3: Knee-to-Chest Stretch
The knee-to-chest stretch is a great exercise for relieving tension and tightness in the lower back, which can be particularly helpful after shoveling snow. Begin this stretch by lying flat on your back on the floor or a mat. Bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Use both hands to pull one knee in towards your chest. Ensure your lower back is pressed to the floor, and hold for 15-30 seconds. Release and lower the knee, and then repeat with the other leg. You can also do this stretch with both knees brought to your chest at the same time for an additional stretch.
Stretch 4: Piriformis Stretch
The piriformis stretch can help alleviate tension in the lower back and hips, which often occurs after activities like shoveling snow. Start the stretch by lying flat on your back on a mat or the floor. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground. Lift your right ankle and place it over your left knee. Reach your hands around your left thigh and pull it towards your chest. You should feel a stretch in your right buttock and hip. Hold this stretch for about 30 seconds, then release and switch sides. Remember to keep your head and shoulders flat on the ground throughout the stretch to protect your neck.
Each exercise can effectively relieve back pain after shoveling snow, improving flexibility, and enhancing overall comfort.
Tips for Safe Snow Shoveling
Here are a few tips to help you safely shovel snow and potentially avoid discomfort in Troy, MI.
- Warm up Before You Start
- Use a Shovel Appropriate for Your Height and Strength
- Lift Properly
- Take Breaks
Say Goodbye to Snow Shoveling-Related Back Pain
While shoveling snow is a necessity for many during the winter months in Troy, Michigan, it doesn’t have to mean dealing with days of back discomfort. Practicing the exercises outlined in this post and following safe shoveling tips can reduce your risk of back pain from shoveling or contact an expert chiropractor.
Are you struggling with back pain after shoveling snow? At Advanced Health Chiropractic, we’re here to help. Schedule a consultation today at (248) 813-0500 and explore more ways to manage and prevent back pain. Let’s work together to ensure your winter in Troy, MI, is as enjoyable and pain-free as possible.