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Be Smart About Snow Shoveling

snow familyJust as raking leaves in the fall can be back-breaking, shoveling snow in the winter can also wreak havoc on the spine. We see a lot of patients get injured while shoveling snow. That’s why it’s essential to prepare for the task and use correct posture when tackling this wintertime to-do.

Prepare First

  • Stretch your muscles to prevent injury.
  • Dress in layers to stay warm.
  • Take frequent breaks. Doing so is crucial as over-exertion can be harmful to one’s health.
  • Use wax or cooking spray to “wax” the blade of your snow shovel. Doing so prevents the snow from sticking to it.

Use a Proper Shoveling Technique

Once you step outside here are some tips to remember:

  • Bend your knees and lift with your legs. Doing so gives your back a break.
  • While raising the snow, keep the shovel blade close to you, to reduce back strain.
  • Switch between shoveling with your right hand and left hand, so that you’re working separate muscles.
  • Every so often, change your grip on the hand holding the bar (palm under vs. palm over).
  • When the snowfall is substantial (e.g., a foot deep), avoid shoveling down to the ground with one scoop. Instead, remove the top six inches off, then scoop up the bottom six inches. Otherwise, you could injure yourself by lifting too much.

Prevent Falls

If snow is in the forecast consider salting your driveway first. Also, wear boots or shoes that have good traction to prevent slipping.

Chiropractic care is helpful year-round and particularly during the winter months when the frigid air can make our bodies and muscles stiff.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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