BY: Mark Young, PT, DPT, Center Manager of Flanders, NJ Center
Don’t injure yourself trying to clean up after the storm. Snow removal can be a burden, especially to the low back, shoulders and neck. Below are some strategies you can use to help prevent injury:
– Widen Your Base of Support: Use a wide stance to improve balance and stability.
– Use Your Legs: When you bend to shovel, make sure you keep your back arched. Do this by pushing your hips backward, shoulders forward and bending down from your hips and knees.
– Keep the Shovel Close: Hold the shovel close to your body to decrease strain on the low back, neck and rotator cuff of the shoulder.
– Know Your Limits: Be sure to keep each shovel load small enough to feel comfortable. Take breaks to prevent over straining muscles.
– Don’t Twist: Toss snow straight ahead vs. twisting your body to throw.
If you do suffer an injury from shoveling, including joint or muscle pain, consult with your physician.
Happy safe shoveling!