The Dos and Don’ts of snow shovelling
Whether you like it or not, winter is going to be here. With the blowing snow and icy conditions, getting out that old shovel is for many of us a necessity. Simcoe County is notorious for dumping hoards of snow on the roads and in our driveways. The last thing you want to do before your commute is injure your back even before leaving to driveway. Shoveling out of a storm does not need to leave you feeling stiff and sore. Georgian Family Chiropractic is here to provide useful tips to help you clear your driveway without the all too common back, neck and shoulder pain!
- Wear Proper footwear- Shoes and boots with solid treads on the soles will help minimize the risk of slips and falls.
- Warm up before you cool down- Take 10-15 minutes before you go out to shovel to get your heart rate up and prepare your body for the workout.
- Take your breaks- we all know the feeling of exhaustion after shoveling a few feet of snow. It is during the fatigue we are likely to hurt ourselves. Take a break every 20 minutes to rest and let those muscles recover.
- Choose the correct shovel- Use a lightweight, non-stick, push style shovel. A smaller blade will require you to lift less snow, putting less strain on your body. An ergonomically correct model, with a curved handle will help prevent injury and fatigue. You can also spray the blade with a silicone-based lubricant to allow the snow to slide off more easily.
- Use proper technique. You want to push the snow instead of lifting and twisting. Lifting and twisting repetitively is one of the worst things you could do for your lower back. If you do have to lift the heavy snow instead of pushing it to the side, lift the shovel while keeping a neutral spine and turn to the side rather than twisting to dump the snow. Use your knees, leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting while keeping your back straight. “Bend your Knees and Lift with Ease”!
- Treat an injury with ice. If you do have back pain a day or two after shoveling, you want to use ice, not heat initially. Put the ice on for about 15 minutes off, 15 minutes on at a time because if you put heat on right away it could cause more inflammation.
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