Q: What advice would you offer so that I don’t hurt myself shoveling snow again?

A: Just when you thought it was safe to go outside, the snows come. It is time to pull out the shovels and lift the heavy white stuff. No matter what type of new gadgets manufacturers make to clean walkways and drives, this activity is still very difficult on the back, arms and neck. Chiropractors see many previous and new patients in the winter months because of injuries related to moving snow.

The American Chiropractic Association offers this list of tips for shoveling:

  • When the snows come, get up earlier so you do not have to rush before work.
  • Layer clothing to keep muscles warm and loose.
  • Always do some warm-up stretching before grabbing the shovel. Cool-downs help as well.
  • Push the snow straight ahead and do not throw it. Walk it to the snow bank.
  • Bend your knees to lift when shoveling. Let the leg and arm muscles do the work, not the back. Keep the back straight. Breath out as you lift.
  • Take frequent breaks to take the strain off muscles. A tired body is asking for injury.
  • Stop if you feel chest pain, become really tired or have shortness of breath. You may need immediate professional help.

The most common injuries are merely sprain/ strain issues related to the muscles and tendons. Commonly a joint of the back get knocked “out of whack” or misaligned. Less common but more serious an injury, is the damage that can be done to a disc of the lower spine. This can be devastating and could create a long term injury.

See your Doctor of Chiropractic if you over-exert yourself or need gentle, hands-on care. Chiropractors truly are the best source for helping with this injury. If they cannot help or you need more invasive treatment than what they offer, they will refer you to the right place. The best treatment options are usually most effective very soon after you hurt yourself and the longer you wait for it to “go away on its own”, increases the odds of your recovery taking longer.

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Voted Best Morgantown Chiropractic Office 2018, 2019, and 2021!

Voted Best Morgantown Chiropractic Office 2018, 2019, and 2021!