Welcome to Performance Care, the blog site for Advanced Chiropractic & Rehab. We'll regularly post exercise and stretching videos. Also, please feel free to post questions/comments. We'll get back to you as soon as we can. If you'd like to be added to our newsletter letting you know when new exercises are posted, visit our website listed below. *To post a comment, click on "comments" link at the bottom of the post.

Our clinic specializes in successfully treating athletic injuries, pregnancy related pain, peripheral nerve entrapments (numbness in the extremities), jaw joint problems (TMJ), and headaches. These are also great topics for questions, in additon to those on general injuries, athletic performance enhancement, and nutritional advice.

To learn more about our clinic, please visit http://www.advancedchiropractickc.com/ .

Disclaimer: one should always consult a health professional before beginning or modifying an exercise routine. The replies posted by Dr. Iodice are meant to help readers figure out a course of action and as general advice, but it is impossible to diagnose a physical problem without a proper examination.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Do you know how to properly shovel snow?

With the snow this weekend, it is a great time to give a reminder on proper snow shoveling technique.

Snow shoveling requires a significant amount of energy and strength, and as a result it is one of the most common causes of back injuries in the winter.  Back injuries when shoveling snow are usually the result of not properly warming your body up before shoveling, shoveling at too fast of a pace, and not using proper ergonomic lifting techniques when shoveling.  We have provided a sample of ergonomically correct techniques below.  Note that here are other options, but this will give you a place to start.
At the store there are many choices when deciding to buy a snow shovel.  We advise that you use an ergonomic snow shovel.  This is the type of snow shovel that is used in the demonstration pictures. An ergonomic snow shovel has many advantages such as requiring you bend less with your back and bend more at your knees.  These shovels are also generally lighter weight to help decrease the strain required to lift the shovel.  These components help to make an ergonomic snow shovel the proper choice for all your shoveling needs.
Just like all exercise we advise you to warm up before beginning to snow shovel.  Place close attention on stretching your quads, hamstrings, lowback, shoulders, and arms.  The blog on our website has some great instructional videos to help demonstrate proper stretching form in case you are in need of a refresher. 
Lifting techniques should be used when moving snow to help make sure you are not increasing your risk for injury. 

1.        Pushing: Make sure you begin with squaring your body up to the shovel and face towards the area of show you are planning on shoveling.  The handle of the shovel should be in the center of your body, with both hands pushing and using your legs to generate the force necessary to move snow.  

2.        Preparing for lifting: Make sure you bend your knees and keep your back straight.  Keep your feet at least shoulder width apart.  Focus on pushing your chest up and out when loading the shovel.  Place one hand as close as comfortably possible to the shovel blade.

3.       Focus on keeping the load of snow in the shovel light to decrease the amount of load in the blade.   Once you load the shovel handle make sure you lift with your legs and rotate the shovel with your hands and dump the snow to the side.  Try leaning your arm against your leg to help support the weight of the shovel.  Make sure you do not twist with your back while dumping the shovel blade.  Notice in the picture how my body stays facing forward and the spine does not bend or rotate.  Instead, my legs are doing most of the work and the elbow on the forward leg's thigh takes much of the weight passively.  

4.       The optional way to dump the shovel is by dumping the snow in front of you.  Straighten your front leg and use it to lift the weight of the snow shovel.  Keep the heavy portion of the handle close to your body.  Walk forward and drop the load of snow in a new location. 

5.      One additional option to avoid lifting the snow at all is to simply push it into a pile.  Use the form from step 1 using your legs to push the snow in the same manner that a plow does.  This is the easiest way to move snow for your body.  However, the weight increases very quickly so it only works in small passes or with light snow. 

Hopefully this helps you to avoid getting injured during the snow storm.  But if you or someone you know does injure themselves, please consider paying a visit to our office.  
Our advanced treatments are successful at resolving most painful conditions.  

No comments: