Snow shovelling injuries are very common when Mother Nature decides to insulate us with her fluffy whiteness. We see neck injuries, shoulder injuries, back injuries, and even knee injuries in the days following a big storm – not unlike the one we’re experiencing throughout the northeast today and tomorrow. Snow storms are good for business… But they don’t have to be.
Although we appreciate the business, we would rather you stay safe and healthy. Here are some tips to avoid those pesky snow shovelling injuries:
Both before and after shovelling, it’s a good idea to loosen up up neck, shoulders, back, and legs. Take 5 minutes and make sure you are nice and loose before shovelling.
Take a look at your driveway and/or sidewalk and plan where you’re going to shovel your snow. You don’t want to move the snow twice so make sure where you shovel the snow the first time, is where you want it to stay.
3) Be a pusher!
If at all possible, don’t lift the snow to clear it, just push until the snow is where you want it.
If you HAVE to lift the snow, make sure you use good technique:
– feet hip width apart and slightly staggered
– keep the snow-filled shovel close to your body
– space your hand apart for leverage
– bend your knees
– tighten your stomach muscles (keep breathing!)
– NO TWISTING!
– walk to dump the snow, don’t throw it
4) Get help
If the job seems too big for just one person, ask for help from a family member or neighbour. If you’re stuck being solo, take breaks to make sure you don’t over do it.
STOP shovelling if:
– you notice discomfort or heaviness in your chest, arms or neck (may be a warning sign that your heart is struggling)
– you experience unusual or prolonged shortness of breath
– you feel dizzy or lightheaded
– you notice excessive sweating or nausea
If any of these symptoms persist, seek medical help.