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  • Writer's pictureDr. Fried

Avoiding Winter Injuries: Chiropractic Advice for Safe Snow Shoveling


Man in lumberman jacket outside shoveling snow in his drive way of his house

As the winter season blankets our neighborhoods with snow, the common task of snow shoveling becomes a necessity. While it's a great physical activity, it can also be a source of strain and injury if not done correctly. As your go-to neighborhood chiropractor, and in light of the recent snowstorm, I'm here to offer some essential chiropractic insights. These tips are designed to help you steer clear of injuries while tackling the task of snow shoveling this winter season.


Understanding the Risks

Snow shoveling is more than just a chore; it's a rigorous activity that combines heavy lifting and cold temperatures, posing risks to the musculoskeletal system. Improper shoveling technique can lead to lower back strains, herniated discs, or even more severe conditions such as heart strain.


Proper Preparation for Safe Snow Shoveling

Before you start, consider these tips:


Warm-Up:

Just like any physical activity, warming up your muscles is crucial. Do some light stretching or a brisk walk to get your blood flowing.


Dress Appropriately:

Wear layers to keep warm and use gloves to protect your hands and improve grip.


Correct Shoveling Technique

Choose the Right Shovel: Ergonomic shovels can reduce the amount of bending you need to do.


Lift Properly:

Bend your knees, keep your back straight, and lift with your legs. Avoid twisting your torso.


Take Breaks:

Pace yourself and take frequent breaks to prevent overexertion.


Stay Hydrated:

Even in cold weather, staying hydrated is important.


Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to your body's signals. If you feel pain or discomfort, stop and rest. Ignoring these signs can lead to more severe injuries.


Post-Shoveling Care

Essential Tips from Dr. Fried


After a session of safe snow shoveling, it's important to take care of your body to prevent soreness and injury. Here are a few quick tips:


Stretch and Cool Down:

Just like you warmed up before shoveling, take a few minutes to stretch afterwards. Focus on your back, arms, and legs.


Stay Hydrated:

Replenish fluids to aid in muscle recovery and overall hydration.


Use Heat or Cold Therapy:

If you feel sore, applying heat can relax your muscles, while cold therapy can reduce inflammation.


The Role of Chiropractic Care

Regular chiropractic care can be beneficial, especially during winter. It helps in:

Maintaining Spinal Health: Regular adjustments can keep your spine aligned and reduce the risk of injury.


Enhancing Flexibility:

Chiropractic care can improve your overall flexibility, making you less prone to injuries.


Recovery:

If you do strain your back, chiropractic treatments can aid in a quicker and more effective recovery.



Snow shoveling is unavoidable, but injuries don't have to be. By following these tips and incorporating chiropractic care into your routine, you can enjoy a safer winter season. Remember, your health and safety are paramount. If you're experiencing discomfort after shoveling snow, don't hesitate to reach out for a consultation.

Stay safe and healthy this winter!



 

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