Protect Your Back This Winter

During an average snowfall, a person with a normal sized house and driveway will usually end up shoveling over a thousand pounds of snow. This makes it quite easy to strain or hurt your back. If you do hurt your back, stop shoveling immediately and take a hot shower or bath. You can try stretching and see if that helps your pain level. After that, you also have the option of alternating a heating pad and ice pack on the injured area every fifteen minutes. You can always call a family member or friend to come finish shoveling for you. You can also pay a local kid to do it for you or post an ad on a website like craigslist. 

If the pain continues past the first day, you should see a back specialist such as Dr. Cohen. The longer you wait the worse your back issue(s) could possibly get. Dr. Cohen might possibly recommend a physical therapy regimen or other alternatives to help alleviate your back pain. 

In order to avoid injuring your back shoveling snow in the future, be sure to warm up with a lite exercise like pacing back and forth as cold muscles are the most likely to be strained. Make sure that you pick a shovel that is conducive avoiding a back injury (there are many ergonomic options out there – avoid choosing a shovel that is too heavy). Another recommendation is to try to push the snow rather than lifting it and whenever you do need to lift and dump the snow – use your legs rather than your back. Be sure to take a break and stretch every five or ten minutes that you are shoveling. Try to avoid twisting your spine as that is the quickest way to injury it. Always remember to pace yourself, take breaks as well as being mindful to do a little at a time rather than constantly removing maximum shovel-fulls of snow.

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