It is that time of the year again when we can look forward to the wonderful white wonderland. The drawback is that the “white stuff” often needs to be moved in one way or another. A problem only arises if you do not do your shovelling correctly. When you consider that a shovel of snow weighs 5 to 7 pounds, you can begin to realize the tremendous accumulative weight that one has to lift in order to clear an area. The average driveway or walkway will hold hundreds of pounds of snow. Snow seems to present a challenge to most shovelers; the cold air invigorates them to action and also numbs their sense of pain and fatigue, thereby masking the severity of sprain and strain. The result is too much exertion without proper rest breaks.
Doctors of Chiropractic recommend the following guidelines to guard against shovelling injuries:
- Dress warmly and comfortably so that you are able to move naturally.
- Warm up your muscles with some gentle stretching. This will start your blood flowing and help to prepare the muscles for the work ahead.
- Use a lightweight push-type shovel. Learn to shovel both right and left handed and change frequently to balance to load you place on your body.
- Just push the snow using the muscles of your legs, not your back. Avoid lifting the snow or pitching the snow
- Avoid sudden twists of the upper body. Turn the entire body instead.
- If you are lifting the snow use your legs to bend and keep your back straight
- Take frequent breaks to avoid over exertion. Remember that your body is not used to doing this kind of work.
- If you feel a twinge of back pain, stop completely and go in the house to rest and consult a Doctor of Chiropractic. The sooner that an injury is cared for the better the results.
Have a safe winter season and experience better body function through Chiropractic care.
If you have any questions that you would like addressed, Dr. Cooper can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org