Snow Shoveling

Snow shoveling can be a daunting task, especially when you look out the window and see feet of snow covering your driveway and sidewalk. If you are not careful, snow shoveling can lead to several injuries, both minor and serious. Excessively working your muscles or even falling can be causes for such injuries. Lower back injuries can be common when you are moving heavy, packed snow for hours at a time. Keep these things in mind next time you go outside to shovel.

• Pace yourself. Don’t work too fast just to finish the job quickly as this can lead to exhaustion and overuse of muscles. Take regular breaks to prevent this and always stay hydrated.
• Stretch. Snow shoveling can be a long, intense activity, so before you start, stretch for 5 to 10 minutes to make sure you don’t strain any of your muscles.
• Use proper technique. Only lift small, light amounts of snow at once. Lifting too much snow at one time can put a tremendous amount of weight on your spine, arms and legs. Do not bend over at the waist to pick up snow, but rather squat and bend at the knees.
• Be careful. Look for any icy patches or uneven surfaces that you can potentially slip or fall from. Wear snow boots that are more slip-resistant.

Avoiding injury should be your first priority when shoveling snow, and these tips should help if you follow them.

Dr. Nima Patel

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