Happy December! We are getting closer and closer to having to clear out that heavy, white snow . . . So how do we avoid injury when addressing all of that snow in the driveway?
Here Are Some Simple Tips for Shoveling:
- Dress in loose layers that can be easily removed to avoid overheating.
- Choose a lightweight shovel with an ergonomic design that allows you to keep the load close to your body.
- Try to stay ahead of the storm by shoveling smaller amounts more frequently.
- Rest when you get tired or feel out of breath. Avoid holding your breath when lifting snow, as this increases the pressure on internal organs, especially your heart.
- Stay hydrated.
- Lift with your legs from a squat to an upright position.
- Avoid bending over, but do maintain a small, inward curve in the low back at all times by tightening the core muscles that surround your spine.
- Shift your weight using your legs.
- Do NOT twist your spine.
- Push snow whenever possible.
- Move small amounts the shortest distance you can.
- Make sure to hold the shovel as close to your body as possible.
- Pace yourself and ask for help!
- Pray for an easy winter…
A short video from the American Physical Therapy Association demonstrating the proper shoveling technique can be found here: http://www.moveforwardpt.com/resources/detail.aspx?cid=05759494-38a8-42f7-bc08-bdcceca35fc7.