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