Snow Shoveling Safety Tips
One of the unfortunate realities of the winter season is the need for shoveling out your sidewalks and driveway. Failure to do so can lead to the formation of ice, making walking on and off your property a slippery hazard. Because shoveling is such an essential part of winter, you need to make sure you know how to do it correctly to avoid injury. Luckily, our team at Massapequa Pain Management and Rehabilitation has all the tips you need to ensure proper safety while shoveling the snow that may fall this winter!
- Warm-up: Think of shoveling like a form of exercise or workout. Before doing either of these things, partaking in a proper warm-up is essential. By getting your heart pumping, you allow the blood flow and flexibility in your muscles to increase, which will help reduce the risk of injury. Since muscles tend to be tighter when it’s cold out, warming up should be a top priority.
- Don’t Strain Your Back: Many people tend to run into back-related issues because they think this muscle group is stronger than it is. To help avoid exerting too much pressure on your back, make sure to do the below:
- Bend from your hips and knees, not your back.
- Maintain a neutral spine.
- Make an effort to push the snow instead of lifting it.
- If you do need to lift, do so with your legs and not your back.
- Take rests when necessary to avoid fatigue.
- Avoid Holding Your Breath: For some, it may feel natural to hold their breath while exerting strong amounts of force. However, this often does more harm than good. Inhaling and exhaling properly will allow for sufficient amounts of oxygen to be transported to the muscles. Holding your breath during physical activities can also lead to headaches occurring.
- Keep Up With The Snowfall: Waiting too long to shovel after a snowstorm will make shoveling more difficult. By shoveling right after the snow has fallen, you’ll be able to move the snow while it’s at its lightest. If you expect large quantities of snow to fall during the storm, consider making multiple trips to shovel.
- Dress Appropriately: While you may be tempted to just throw on a sweatshirt and jeans to get shoveling over with, this can lead to some negative effects. If you don’t stay dry and warm, you put yourself at risk for frostbite and hypothermia. Remember to always wear multiple layers and waterproof shoes when stepping out into the snow this winter season, shoveling or otherwise.
- Visit A Chiropractor: If you do become injured while shoveling snow, it may be helpful to visit a chiropractor. A chiropractor will work with you to properly rehabilitate your injury and get you back to living pain-free as soon as possible!
Very few people enjoy shoveling snow, but some things in life just need to be done. Though not the most thrilling or physically demanding activity, the potential for injury is always present. Don’t let one of the necessary tasks of winter ruin the whole season for you. For more tips for snow shoveling safety or injury treatment, reach out to our team at Massapequa Pain Management and Rehabilitation today!