As the snow starts to fall in many areas, it has announced the beginning of the annual snow shovelling season. For the next four to five months, home and business owners across the country will be moving the white stuff off their walkways and parking areas so they can get from place to place every time a snowfall buries them under the frozen water crystals.
Many individuals will also be suffering from back aches because of their labor. Thousands of people end up in their local emergency room or chiropractor’s office every year due to snow removal related injuries. But there are ways to protect yourself from hurting your neck and spine region while clearing your sidewalk. These tips will help keep your spinal column healthy all winter.
Warm Up the Muscles
Many homeowners have a get up and go approach to moving the white stuff. Once it falls, they go out to remove it without limbering up their body first. But using muscles that are not ready for the exertion increases your risk of straining the tissues. Before heading outdoors, stretch and move your body to get the blood, oxygen, and fluids flowing to the cells. This will help prepare the flesh for the more intensive workout ahead.
Use Proper Body Mechanics
When working with a shovel, it is important to always use proper body mechanics. Use your legs and pelvic area to lift the snowfall out of the way instead of your torso. Keep your digging tool close to your body when working with it, and do not lift more than what you can physically manage, it’s better to have less weight in the scoop than too much.
Use the Right Shovel
There are many types of clearing tools on the market today. Electric or mechanical devices, ergonomic designs, and small or large spades are all available to help you with the essential task ahead. When purchasing your manual or electric machinery, it is important to choose a digger that fits your body and ability both in purpose and size. Ergonomic apparatus is designed for proper body positioning and movement while performing your chore. The right shovel will put less strain on your muscles.
Don’t Overdo It
Many people want to get the unpleasant workload done as quickly as possible but that could increase your chances of hurting your back. Rather than pushing yourself beyond your ability, take rest breaks periodically and pace yourself while working. This will give your body time to recover and rest from the labor.
Snowfalls can be heavy and difficult to move. If you have trouble hauling the white stuff out of the way, ask someone to help you. It will not only shorten the time you spend removing the blizzard’s leftovers, but it also makes the task easier and more enjoyable because there is less to do. If you do not have a friend, family member or neighbor to ask, consider hiring a snow removal company.
Visit Your Chiropractor
Back health is important no matter what time of the year it is. Adding extra work to the area because of the weather will increase the risk of injury. It also increases the need for proper care. Chiropractors can help you maintain a healthy spine through regular checkups and therapies.
At Stephen Nutt Chiropractic, we help our patients maintain optimal health through ongoing assessment and treatment plans. Find out how your chiropractic doctor can help you too.