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Monthly Archives: February 2017

8 Tips For Safe Snow Shoveling

Here are some tips to keep yourself injury-free as you shovel today or during this wintery season

Each year, hospital emergency rooms see a spike in the number of people they see for injuries related to shoveling or removing ice and snow. The number of cases are in the thousands.

 

Western Berks Physical therapy doesn’t want you to let yourself become included in those numbers.

 

As you shovel snow from recent storms or those that may impact the region, here are some tips to keep yourself injury-free. (Tips from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons):

 

  1. Warm-up. Shoveling can be a vigorous activity so warm-up your muscles for 10 minutes with light exercise before you start shoveling.
  2. Make sure you can see. Be sure that you can fully see the area that you are shoveling. Watch for ice patches and uneven surfaces.
  3. Dress appropriately. Wear light, layered, water-repellent clothing to provide both ventilation and insulation. Wear the appropriate head covering, warm socks and gloves or mittens. Avoid falls by wearing shoes or boots with slip-resistant soles.
  4. Start early. Clear snow early and often, especially if a large snowfall is expected.
  5. Pace yourself. Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
  6. Proper lifting. Push the snow instead of lifting it. If you must lift the snow, do it properly. Squat with your legs apart, knees bent and back straight. Lift with your legs and do not bend at the waist.
  7. Safe technique. Do not throw the snow over your shoulder or to the side because it requires a twisting motion that stresses your back.
  8. Use the correct shovel. Use a shovel that is comfortable for both your height and strength. Do not use a shovel that is too heavy or too long for you. Space your hands on the tool grip.

 

Hopefully these simple tips can help you prevent any injuries that could happen while shoveling snow.

 

If you should sustain an injury as a result of shoveling, removing ice or falling during this wintery season, please contact Western Berks Physical Therapy so that we can help relieve your pain from injury.