This image portrays Snow Shoveling Safety: Protecting Your Spine in Winter Wonderland by East Tennessee Spine and Sport.

Snow Shoveling Safety: Protecting Your Spine in Winter Wonderland

Winter’s charm often comes with a hefty side of responsibility – snow shoveling. While clearing driveways and sidewalks is a common winter chore, it can take a toll on your musculoskeletal health, particularly the neck and back. Let’s delve into some eye-opening statistics, with a notable finding from the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, and essential tips to ensure you stay injury-free during this winter season.


A comprehensive study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine reveals a concerning trend – injuries to the lower back accounted for over 34% of all soft tissue injuries suffered from shoveling snow. This statistic underscores the specific vulnerability of the lower back during this winter activity.

Common Injuries & Conditions

Beyond low back pain, individuals may suffer from a range of injuries or conditions when shoveling snow, including strained muscles, herniated discs, and even heart-related issues in extreme cases. Understanding these risks empowers you to prioritize your musculoskeletal well-being.

Do’s and Don’ts

1. Posture Matters: Maintain a neutral spine position by bending at the hips and knees, avoiding excessive twisting.

2. Take Breaks: Pace yourself and take regular breaks to prevent muscle fatigue and reduce the risk of injury.

3. Know When to Stop: Listen to your body. If you experience pain or discomfort, it’s crucial to stop immediately and seek assistance.

Encouragement & Solution

If you’ve sustained a musculoskeletal injury while shoveling snow, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Our spine specialists at East Tennessee Spine & Sport are here to support you. Visit to make an appointment and get expert evaluation and care.

This winter, let’s prioritize safety and well-being while enjoying the snowy landscapes. Your spine will thank you for it!