We all hope this is the last round of shoveling, but this snowfall really begs for some help on how to keep yourself healthy shoveling.
This snow fall is different than the previous falls in that it is much heavier than a regular snowfall. The first thing to think about is your heart. If you have a weak heart, then please be careful! There have been many heart attacks trying to shovel very heavy snow. Please try to find a generous neighbor to at least help out. Northfield is full of wonderful volunteers, so don’t hesitate ask. Dr. Bridget and I have been helping our pastor with her driveway, because she has broken her ankle. We were happy to do it!
Prevention is the best medicine! Our patients that come in before getting hurt know this the best. So what is the best way to prevent back injuries while shoveling this stuff? Here is a list of things to heed to when shoveling:
KEEP YOU CORE TIGHT-
This is the most overlooked aspect to shoveling. When your core is not engaged it puts so much more pressure on your back muscles. Your back is not made to take on this much force without the core assisting. This is especially important if you are not working out on a regular basis. The best time to engage your core is right before you lift the snow through the point right after you throw the snow.
USE YOUR BUTTOCKS-
This goes right along with using your core. These are powerful muscles that can really help with a heavy load. However, people who do not work out much have a difficult time engaging these muscles when necessary. This really helps keep your back from straining.
USE YOUR LEGS-
This is fairly well known, but it is very important. To reinforce this idea is not a trivial idea.
USE A SHOVEL FIT FOR YOUR SIZE-
Most shovels are made for the average person. If you are a taller person look for a shovel with a longer handle. This will give you a much better fulcrum to deal with weight much better, thus taking pressure off of your back.
I hope this helps you with your next shoveling experience. If you do get back pain it is very important to see a chiropractor as soon as you can. The sooner you come in the more effective the treatment. This also helps you from future injuries.