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Posted on 11-01-2016

Shoveling snow can create disaster on the musculoskeletal system. American Chiropractic Association suggests the following tips for staying safe while shoveling snow this winter:

  • If you must shovel snow, be careful. Listen to weather forecasts so you can rise early and have time to shovel before work without being rushed.
  • Layer clothing to keep your muscles warm and pliable.
  • Shoveling can strain "de-conditioned" muscles all over your body. So, do some warm-up stretches before grabbing that shovel.
  • When shoveling, push the snow straight ahead. Avoid sudden twisting and turning motions. Don't try to throw it. Walk it to the snow bank.
  • Bend your knees to lift when shoveling. Let the muscles of your legs and arms do the work, not your back.
  • Take frequent breaks to rest to take the strain off your muscles. A fatigued body asks for injury.
  • Stop if you feel chest pain, or get really tired or have shortness of breath. You may need immediate professional help.
  • After any of these activities, if you are sore, apply an ice bag to the affected area for 20 minutes, then take it off for a couple of hours. Repeat twice a day over the next day or two.

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If you continue to feel soreness, pain or strain after following these tips, consider visiting your local chiropractor.

Sources:

https://www.acatoday.org/Patients/Health-Wellness-Information/Winter-Activities

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