Tips for shoveling snow safely

With our recent snow, ice and frigid weather, it’s important to take precautions to prevent injury. Winter chores can pose problems for the outdoor enthusiast whose body is not conditioned.

Shoveling snow can cause problems for the musculoskeletal system. Here are some tips, courtesy of the American Chiropractic Association, for doing it safely:

  • If you must shovel snow, be careful. Listen to weather forecasts so you can rise early and have time to shovel before work.
  • Layer clothing to keep your muscles warm and flexible. Shoveling can strain “deconditioned” muscles between your shoulders, in your upper back, lower back, buttocks and legs, so do some warm-up stretching before you grab that shovel.
  • When you do shovel, push the snow straight ahead. Walk it to the snow bank; don’t try to throw it. Avoid sudden twisting and turning motions.
  • Bend your knees to lift when shoveling. Let the muscles of your legs and arms do the work, not your back.
  • Take frequent rest breaks to take the strain off your muscles. A fatigued body asks for injury.
  • Stop if you experience chest pain, get really tired or shortness of breath. You may need emergency assistance.I

If you experience pain or muscle soreness while shoveling snow, call our office at 425-778-9600 to see if we can help.


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