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Shoveling Tips to Prevent Inury

The winter is here, with winter comes snow and with snow comes shoveling. With more shoveling of the great white stuff comes a shoveling related injury. Don’t be a victim to such winter related injuries! Use the following techniques when shoveling and stay on your feet this winter:
1)      Pick the Right Snow Shovel: Picking out a shovel with ergonomic features can significantly reduce the effort you need to put in to your snow removal chores. These features may be a curved handle or an adjustable length which will minimize bending causing pain in the back and knees. Another feature to reduce chances for pain is a small, lightweight, plastic blade which will help reduce the amount of weight that you are moving.
2)      Warm Up First: When your muscles are tight and cold you are more prone to injury than you would be warmed up. Get your blood moving and do your body a favor and warm up for five to ten minutes prior to shoveling. When finished with the shoveling make sure to stretch your low back and hamstrings with some gentle exercises.
3)      Take Your Time and Pace Yourself: Wanting to get the job done quickly usually results in injury. We tend to want to shovel up large piles at once when shoveling small amounts of snow less frequently is less strenuous on our bodies. Take your time, when faced with a large pile of snow take some off the top to decrease the weight of the load. Also, when feeling overworked take a break to make sure you don’t overdo it.
4)      Use Proper Lifting Techniques: Make sure to use proper lifting techniques when shoveling up the piles of snow. Visit our website to learn how to use these proper techniques at www.procarept.org.
5)      Keep Grounded: When shoveling snow its likely that you are facing slippery conditions which may lead to slippery falls and strains that can injure your back. Make sure to wear the appropriate footwear with treading on the soles to help minimize injuries from slipping. Also, be sure to spread sand, rock salt, or kitty litter on your sidewalk or driveway to prevent from falling.
Following these techniques will reduce your chance of injury when shoveling, but if you still find yourself injured please call our experienced physical therapists for a free evaluation of your injury or pain at 414.858.1361! Or go to https://procarept.org/ for more information!

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