Do you love winter? I know many in my practice are excited for the snow so they can hit the hills on their skis or snowboards, but winter is not my favorite season. In the past few weeks I’ve heard many of the same complaints, but also complaints about new or reactivated injuries, and often when I ask a few questions I can easily determine the source: shovelling snow!
Removing snow from your property can be irritating for a few reasons but if you keep these tips in mind you’ll prevent injuries:
- Don’t let the snow pile up: If the weather report calls for several days of snow, frequent shoveling will allow you to move smaller amounts of snow each time. This approach is far less strenuous in the long run.
- Pick the right shovel: Use a lightweight pusher-type shovel.
- Push, don’t throw: Always push the snow to the side rather than throw it. That way you avoid lifting heavy shovelfuls of snow, and sudden twisting or turning movements.
- Bend your knees: As with any heavy object, you need to use your knees, and leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting, while keeping your back straight.
- Take a break: If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a rest. Shake out your arms and legs. Stop shovelling immediately if you feel chest pain or back pain. If you have back pain that is severe or that persists for more than a day after shovelling, call me rather than ‘waiting for it to go away’. If you have chest pain that is severe, see a doctor immediately.
As always, keep your regular chiropractic adjustment schedule (or visit a Chiropractor for a spinal checkup!) to maximize your spine’s ability to move the way it was designed to!