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Shovel snow without breaking your back

Shovel snow without breaking your back

NC – Did you know that the sharp pain you feel putting away the dishes on a high shelf might be traced to lifting a snow shovel above your shoulder after a big storm? Repeatedly raising your arm and lifting a snow-filled shovel above shoulder-level is a common cause of many of the complaints chiropractors hear.

Fortunately, Ontario chiropractors offer some easy tips to help ensure a pain-free winter:

1. Don’t let the snow pile up. If the weather report calls for several days of snow, frequent shovelling will allow you to move smaller amounts of snow at once. It’s far less strenuous in the long run.

2. Pick the right shovel. Use a lightweight pusher-type shovel. If you’re using a metal shovel, spray it with Teflon first so snow won’t stick to it.

3. Push, don’t throw. Always push the snow to the side rather than throw it. This way you can avoid lifting heavy shovelfuls of snow and any sudden twisting or turning movements that can lead to strains.

4. Bend your knees. As with any heavy object, you need to use your knees, leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting while keeping your back straight.

5. Take a break. If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a rest. Shake out your arms and legs. Stop shovelling immediately if you feel chest or back pain. If you have back pain that is severe or persists for more than a day after shovelling or experience lingering shoulder or back pain, see a chiropractor. If you have severe chest pain, see a doctor immediately.

Find more information at www.chiropractic.on.ca.

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