Be Careful Shoveling Snow this Winter

This is one of the busiest times of year in a chiropractor’s office.  Sudden efforts to clear the drive from tons of snow can really aggravate back problems.

Here are some excerpts from a recent article at www.consumeraffairs.com

Aching back

According to the seventeen-year study, appearing in the January 2011 issue of the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, the most common injury diagnoses were soft tissue injuries (55 percent), lacerations (16 percent) and fractures (seven percent). The lower back was the most frequently injured region of the body (34 percent), followed by injuries to the arms and hands (16 percent), and head (15 percent). Acute musculoskeletal exertion (54 percent), slips or falls (20 percent) and being struck by a snow shovel (15 percent) were the most frequent mechanisms of snow shovel-related injuries.

Shoveling tips

The following are a few additional tips for preventing injuries when shoveling snow:

  • Warm up with light exercise before you start.
  • Make sure to pace yourself by taking frequent breaks for rest.
  • The best way to clear snow is by pushing it instead of lifting.
  • Ergonomically designed shovels are a great choice to reduce the need for bending and heavy lifting.
  • When possible, avoid large shoveling jobs by clearing snow several times throughout the day.
  • Remember to wear warm clothing, including a hat, gloves and slip-resistant, high-traction footwear.

Remember my three day rule, “If a pain persists into a third day or is very sharp in certain movements, it’s time to see the chiropractor.”