It has been predicted that this Winter will be wetter then normal in the upcoming months. If the temperates drop accordingly that means snowfall is going to be more prevalent this season. Cleaning up that snow this Winter is an activity that most of us are going to have to do. Unfortunately, using a snow blower is not always possible and for some is never an option. Shoveling is the main way that people clean up snow from sidewalks, driveways, porches, etc. The repetitive lifting of any sort of material is difficult on the body, especially the spine. Look below for some tips on how to properly clean up snow and how to handle any discomfort that arises after.
When shoveling snow it is important to keep the shovel closer to your body. Having the shovel further away from your torso puts more strain on the low back which in turn can lead to serious injury. You also have to avoid turning or twisting while clearing or throwing the snow off the shovel. This twisting motion can cause severe sprain/strains and disc injuries. Make sure to always lift with your legs and not your spine. If it is possible to push the snow rather then lift it, that is the better option. The next piece of advise is to make sure to take breaks. If you start to feel any fatigue or discomfort in the body it is important to a break before further injury occurs.
Sometimes no matter how careful you are, injury still may occur. The most common injuries that you may experience are sprains and strains. Sprains occur when a joint is forced beyond its normal range of motion. Strains occur when the muscle is overused or stretched too far. Radiation of pain down the arms or legs may actually be caused by a nerve being pinched in the spine and is a very common condition. Pain can refer down the arms if your upper back or neck are tight, pinching one of the nerves in this area. Pain may also refer down the legs if a nerve in your low back is being irritated. Chiropractors generally get to the actual cause of the symptoms and are able to effectively treat it or refer out properly. Spinal adjustments can help restore proper alignment to your spine that will relieve pain and take pressure off nerve roots. Therapy done in the office will also relax or strengthen muscles, improve blood flow, and reduce swelling. If an injury is left alone for too long it will develop into a chronic issue leading to more difficulties in the future so do not wait to have an exam performed by a chiropractor to determine the best route of care.
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