Landa Spine & Orthopedic Center emphasize that as temperatures drop and snow falls in many areas, people should exercise caution when clearing off their sidewalks and driveways.
Freehold, NJ -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/03/2019 --Landa Spine & Orthopedic Center emphasize that as temperatures drop and snow falls in many areas, people should exercise caution when clearing off their sidewalks and driveways. Many people experience back pain during or after shoveling snow, and lower back pain after this activity is one of the most common reasons for ER visits in the wintertime. Landa Spine & Orthopedic Center explains how to prevent and treat back pain caused by shoveling.
Depending on where you live, you may receive quite a bit of snow – some areas get an average of nearly 10 feet per year. You may enjoy seeing the first snowfall, but after a few weeks or months, it can quickly become tiresome. Not only can it be stressful, but it's also hard on your body as you have to continually work to keep your walkways clear of snow and ice.
"Shoveling snow can lead to a host of ailments such as low back strain, muscle fatigue, damage to the vertebral discs, and even spinal fractures," a spine surgeon from Landa Spine & Orthopedic Center explains. "Shoveling can place considerable strain on the spinal structures. Besides that, some injuries are caused by slipping and falling on icy surfaces."
Preventing Injury During Snow Removal
Landa Spine & Orthopedic Center shares some tips on shoveling snow safely and staying injury-free, including:
Protect your heart. Avoid smoking, eating, or consuming caffeine before shoveling snow. These activities have a stimulant effect on the heart, raising heart rate and constricting blood vessels.
Stop immediately if you experience any pain.
Pace yourself. Shoveling snow is strenuous exercise. Work slowly, take frequent breaks, and stay hydrated.
Take care not to slip. If the ground is slick or icy, spread salt or sand to ensure sufficient foot traction. Stay alert at all times so that you don't slip and fall.
Dress properly. Wear comfortable clothing that is appropriate for the weather. If it's freezing, dress in warm layers and include a hat, gloves, and waterproof boots.
"Another important thing that's often overlooked is choosing the right shovel," says a Landa Spine & Orthopedic Center spine surgeon. "An ergonomically-shaped shovel can greatly reduce stress on your back. A shovel with a plastic blade is lighter-weight and easier to handle. Also, a shovel with a smaller blade will mean smaller loads of snow and less stress on the body. It's also essential to use the proper technique. Leave some space between your hands and use good posture to protect your spine."
If You Do Become Injured
Many people who experience pain after shoveling snow don't notice it until the next day. If you notice that your muscles are sore after removing snow, try a combination of heat and gentle exercises that work the back such as toe touches and lumbar twists. If the pain lasts more than a few days, it's time to seek the services of a spine surgeon, who can give you advice on non-invasive, first-line treatments to help you recover.