Ask a Tahoe Health Professional: Advice for shoveling smarter? |

Ask a Tahoe Health Professional: Advice for shoveling smarter?

Christina Frohlich
Christina Frohlich


Christina Frohlich is a doctor of physical therapy and U.S. Army veteran. You can find her serving the South Lake Tahoe community at Gallanty PT and Emerald Bay PT. Contact her directly at

Q: There always seems to be one more storm that comes just when we think spring weather has set in. This winter has tested the strength in my back and going through the motions again might be the straw that breaks it. Any advice on how to shovel smarter?

A: The snow has been wet and heavy this year! Hopefully it is melting out of your yard now, but that doesn’t mean that your back pain is melting away too. Let’s start by figuring out what increases your back pain. Try to rotate or side bend or flex forward when you’re standing and notice what feels better or worse. Now try those same movements on the floor where gravity is eliminated. Does it hurt or feel more like a stretch? If it doesn’t hurt, then stretching on the floor is your first step to getting rid of your back spasms. If it does hurt, even with gravity eliminated by laying on the floor, then you need to seek additional help. Check in with your local physical therapist or other medical professional to get a check up and a movement analysis.

Ask a Tahoe Health Professional is part of the Tahoe Daily Tribune’s Healthy Tahoe initiative. You can email questions to From there questions are anonymously sent to our health professionals. As always, it is best to consult your personal health care professional.

Healthy Tahoe is a look at health-related topics that shape our community and is made possible through content provided by our sponsors.

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