It’s official, the colder months are amongst us. Although some people love the idea of a beautiful snowfall in New York, others dread the idea of having to shovel their way out of their house. We don’t blame you– it can be difficult to enjoy the snowy weather when you are clearing out your driveway for hours. We want to help you make this winter chore slightly more tolerable this year by giving you some tips on how to properly shovel. Snow shoveling is one of the most common causes of back injuries during winter and we hope that these tips will help prevent injury and pain. If you are unsure if your back is in well enough condition to shovel snow and are looking for a chiropractor in St. James, contact Dr. Raymond A. Semente today.
Having the right shovel and winter gear will be an essential step in preparation for shoveling. When purchasing a shovel, opt for an ergonomic snow shovel. These shovels are designed to help reduce the effort you put into shoveling by minimizing painful bending. The ergonomically shaped handle will also only require you to bend your knees and arch your back very slightly. Try to do a five-minute warm-up to get your blood flowing before heading outside. Make sure that you are dressed in layers and snow boots that have durable traction against slippery ice. You can also spread rock salt across the driveway for extra traction.
Start by squarely facing your shoulders and hips in the direction of where you will be shoveling. Keep your back straight when shoveling the snow and bend at the hips and knees by using your leg muscles to scoop out the snow and lift it upwards. Do not attempt to lift the shovel up with a load that is too heavy. Shoveling smaller amounts will be less strenuous on the back area. In moving the snow, pivot your whole body in the direction you will be placing the snow to avoid twisting your back and do not extend your arms in placing down the snow. If the new location is out of reach, walk over to it rather than reaching or tossing the snow. If you feel like you need a break, take one! Try taking a 2-minute break every 20 minutes to stretch or hydrate.
Of course, another option for those who are hesitant in shoveling snow is buying a snowblower that will last you for winters to come. If you aren’t sure if you are in proper condition to shovel snow and are looking for a chiropractor in St. James, make an appointment with Dr. Raymond A. Semente today.