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Monday, 28 November 2011

Practice Safe Snow Removal

When you consider that a shovelful of show weighs 5-7 pounds (often more with our wet snow!), you quickly realize how much weight you need to move to clear your sidewalk or driveway.  Shoveling snow can be a pain in more ways than one.  Here are some tips to help keep your back in top shape this winter.

Don't Let the Snow Pile Up:
If the weather report calls for an extended period of snowfall, its tempting to just wait until the snow stops to shovel.  However, frequent shoveling witll allow you to move smaller amounts of snow at once. This will be far less strenuous in the long run.

Pick the Right Shovel:
Use a lightweight pusher-type shovel.  In situations where a small metal shovel is better, try spraying it with Teflon to keep snow from sticking to it. 

Push, Don't Throw:
Always push the snow to the side rather than throw it.  That way you avoid lifting heavy shovelfuls of snow, and sudden twisting or turning movements.  If you are piling snow up and need to lift it, walk the snow over the the pile and place it on top instead of throwing. 

Bend Your Knees:
As in any lifting activity, you need to use your knees, leg, and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting.  While doing this, keep your back straight.

Take A Break:
If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a rest.  Your back is much more prone to injury when you are out of breath.  Stop shoveling immediately if you feel chest pain or back pain.

If you have back pain that is severe, or presists for more than a day after shoveling, give us a call at Back Home Chiropractic.  If you start to have chest pain that is severe, see a medical doctor immediately.

Dr. Jeff Marshall, BScKin, DC