With the forecast calling for 20-30cms tonight and tomorrow, I can't help but think of all the people who could potentially hurt their backs because they missed our talk. Please do yourselves a favour and remember these tips to help prevent MSK injury while heading out to combat the latest storm:
- Keep the loads small - divide the shovelling into smaller amounts and shovel more frequently instead of only shovelling when it is finished snowing
- Dress for the weather - make sure your boots have a good grip and you are dressed to avoid hypothermia or overheating
- Choose your tools wisely - there are pushing shovels and there are lifting shovels, choose wisely and use appropriately
- Wider shovels are best for pushing, something narrower than 24 inches will be better for lifting
- Ergonomic shovels are not great for pushing, and can make lifting easier, but remember to keep good form
- Push don't throw - time and time again I see people doing the classic "bend, twist and throw" technique and every time I cringe on the inside. Avoid the "bend, twist and throw" at all costs. Bending and twisting while carrying a heavy load is one of the best ways you can hurt yourself, please stop, just stop.
- When it comes time to get the snow off the ground - FACE where you want the snow to go, bring 1 hand as close to the shovel blade as you can get it, bend at the ankles, knees and hips while keeping your back relatively flat (like a squat), load your shovel and then stand up to dump the snow where you want it.
- Take lots of little breaks to catch your breath and avoid fatigue (injuries are more likely to occur when people are fatigued)
- Stop if you feel pain/strain and see your chiropractor ASAP.
It's actually a little funny that I did the talk on shovelling a couple weeks ago, because Dr. Shaun is actually the one who does 90% of the shovelling at our house. This leads me to my number #1 tip on how to avoid back pain while shovelling
Get sombody else to do it.
And hey, if you have to pay somebody to do it, think of it as local economic stimulation.
Stay safe and warm everyone.
We will be open depending on what the conditions are like to help anyone who's hurting from the storm. Please call ahead to book your appointment.