5 Tips for Snow Shoveling
Happy Winter! Snow is here and we want to stay healthy, moving, and pain-free! According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2015: more than 158,000 people were treated by various types of health professionals for injuries that happened while shoveling or removing ice and snow manually and more than 15,000 people were injured while using snowblowers. Many of these are back and shoulder injuries. So what can we do protect ourselves?
- Warm up - Be sure you're moving before you do any serious physical labor. And wear warm clothes - cold muscles are more likely to get injured.
- Check your feet - Wear boots with a deeper tread to avoid slipping on compacted snow or ice.
- Check your shovel - Choose an ergonomic shovel. Those with the bend in the handle allow you to bend less - keeping a neutral spine and allowing the shovel to do the work.
- Push, don't lift - Push the snow straight ahead of you. Don't lift if you don't need to, this is when most people hurt themselves.
- Use your legs! - IF you must lift, bend your knees and lift using your thighs. Engage your ab muscles and do not twist - move your feet!
Bonus Tip: If while doing your best, you feel you may have injured yourself, call your chiropractor quickly, newer injuries are easier to treat and to encourage healing - this leads to quicker recoveries!
Stay safe and warm!