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Safe Snow Shoveling Tips

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!

 

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