Ottawa-Gatineau Five ways to avoid injury when shoveling snow
(NC)-Shoveling snow can be a pain in more ways than one. These tips will help keep your back in top shape:
- Don't let the snow pile up: If the weather report calls for several days of snow, frequent shovelling will allow you to move smaller amounts of snow at once. It's far less strenuous in the long run.
- Pick the right shovel: Use a lightweight pusher-type shovel. If you are using a metal shovel, spray it with Teflon first, so snow won't stick to it.
- Push, don't throw: Always push the snow to the side rather than throw it. That way you avoid lifting heavy shovelfuls of snow, and sudden twisting or turning movements.
- Bend your knees: As with any heavy object, you need to use your knees, and leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting, while keeping your back straight.
- Take a break: If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a rest. Shake out your arms and legs.
Stop shovelling immediately if you feel chest pain or back pain. If you have back pain that is severe or that persists for more than a day after shovelling, see a chiropractor. If you have chest pain that is severe, see a doctor immediately.