In winter, people tend to spend a lot of time outside to enjoy holiday decorations, snowball fights, and sledding. But when you’re preparing for winter there’s also the possibility of shoveling snow from your driveway or sidewalk.
“Nearly every single one of us will suffer some sort of physical injury as a result of shoveling snow at some point in our lives.”
For those who shovel snow, injuries are common. In addition to digging out winter coats and boots, now is the time to prepare your body for the possibility of shoveling snow. Whether you want to prevent a sprained ankle or broken wrist, it is important to avoid conditions that can lead to slips and falls in the first place, and second is, to follow some snow shoveling tips which will prepare you for the cold and hard work that awaits!
Tips for shoveling snow
Snow shoveling can be a challenging and dangerous activity. This injury from shoveling snow can cause problems throughout the rest of your life, forcing you to rely on pain medication which can eventually become addictive — giving you more and more painful symptoms. Want to be prepared for snow shoveling, then this guide is for you. Let’s see!
Shoveling can be an intense activity. To prepare for it, spend a few minutes warming up before getting outside. Tense muscles are more likely to become injured than flexible ones. It’s best to stretch your muscles before you begin work, particularly those in your lower back and hamstrings. It’s also important to warm up with light exercises like brisk walking, climbing stairs up and down (without stopping), squats, and lunges.
Use an ergonomic shovel
When you are shoveling the snow, make sure that you use the right tools for the job. A shovel that is too heavy or too long can be difficult to use. If possible, choose a smaller, lightweight shovel for easier working and less strain on your arms. Hold the tool with your dominant hand so that you have better leverage to move larger amounts of the snow faster.
Dress in layers. When you’re working at a moderate-high intensity activity, your body temperature will rise and you may need to shed a layer as you work. Water-repellent clothing provides both ventilation and insulation. It is also important to wear the appropriate head covering, thick socks, and gloves or mittens that will keep your hands warm, dry, and blister-free. Wear boots or shoes with slip-resistant soles to prevent falls.
Follow a safe shoveling technique
To shovel snow, try to push the snow instead of lifting it. If you must lift it, do so properly. Squat with your legs apart and knees bent, back straight. Keep your arms outstretched; this will allow you to scoop small amounts of snow into the shovel and move it to where you want to dump it. Never remove deep snow all at once—this is particularly important in the case of heavy, wet snow. Remove pieces of it in small amounts at a time rather than trying to remove large chunks all at once.
When you’re shoveling snow, it can be easy to ignore your body’s signals for rest. But don’t overdo it—taking breaks every 15 minutes or so and drinking water can help prevent exhaustion and overexertion. Listen to your body’s signals, such as pains and shortness of breath. Stand up straight after each shoveling session, and walk around, so you don’t have to strain yourself.
Hopefully, these tips will help you shovel safely this year. If your injury is not an emergency, the best place to start is with self-care by following the Sports Injury Rehabilitation: 5 – Step Process.
Perhaps, It’s possible that despite your best efforts, you still strained muscles in your back, legs, or arms. Don’t worry – it happens! Whether you know during the storm or days later when an injury first appears Healing Hands is here to help you on the road to recovery. Book an appointment with a renowned and certified hand therapist Heather Mogielnicki who has 23+ years of experience in treating upper extremity injuries by integrating science-based treatment with intuitive energy healing to help you heal from within