Wednesday, March 30, 2011

One Last Storm to Shovel Out!

Here is some food for thought during this last snowstorm of 2011! During the winter of 2008, 70,000 people were treated for back injuries sustained while shoveling snow. This is an extremely large number considering injuries while shoveling or snow blowing can generally be avoided. Injuries sustained normally consist of but are not limited to lumbar and shoulder strains and sprains. Some helpful tips to prevent injuries are:

Check with your doctor to see if you are healthy enough to be performing this task. If there is any doubt you may consider hiring someone for snow removal.
● Warm up before you begin. Start with about 10 minutes of light exercise to “warm up” your muscles before the strenuous activity.
● Take frequent breaks, if you feel yourself getting too hot or cold stop and resume when you are feeling better. The snow is not going anywhere. It is important to take you time and think of yourself first.
● Buy a shovel that is comfortable to use and facilities good posture while shoveling.
● Take smaller loads of snow on your shovel. It may take longer to complete the task, but you will feel much better when you are finished.
● Be careful not to twist or throw snow over your shoulder while shoveling. Many injuries are sustained with a heavy load and a twisting motion combined.

For more information on snow removal safety please visit:

And for more information on healthy living, or to schedule a consultation for physical therapy, feel free to contact us at 518-690-4406 or visit our website at or email us at

William Milhizer, DPT, PT

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