The Snow Is Coming!

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:

  1. Prepare
    1. Dress in loose layers that can be easily removed to avoid overheating.
    2. Choose a lightweight shovel with an ergonomic design that allows you to keep the load close to your body.
  2. Plan
    1. Try to stay ahead of the storm by shoveling smaller amounts more frequently.
    2. 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.
    3. Stay hydrated.
  3. Posture
    1. Lift with your legs from a squat to an upright position.
    2. 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.
    3. Shift your weight using your legs.
    4. Do NOT twist your spine.
  4. Push
    1. Push snow whenever possible.
    2. Move small amounts the shortest distance you can.
    3. Make sure to hold the shovel as close to your body as possible.
  5. Pace yourself and ask for help!
  6. 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.