Health Advice



Mayo Clinic Q&A: Top tips to avoid back injuries this winter

Arjun Sebastian, M.D., Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research on

Published in Health & Fitness

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I threw out my back doing yardwork. While I was laid up for a few weeks, I’m OK now. I’m concerned I will reinjure my back shoveling snow this winter. How can I protect my back while shoveling?

ANSWER: Winters in certain parts of the country can be long and snowy. While seemingly an innocuous task, snow shoveling can be a rigorous aerobic activity and one that significantly stresses the back. You should be mindful to avoid serious injuries when shoveling.

Here are a few tips and techniques to hopefully keep your driveway and sidewalk clear while avoiding serious injury:

With proper preparation and mindful attention to the actions you take while shoveling, snow clearing doesn’t have to be a tedious or difficult winter task. Should you need additional assistance for injuries, consult with your primary health provider or a spine care center. — Arjun Sebastian, M.D., Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota


(Mayo Clinic Q & A is an educational resource and doesn’t replace regular medical care. E-mail a question to MayoClinicQ& For more information, visit

©2022 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


blog comments powered by Disqus