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Posted on 01-02-2017

Another blog post from Ann Arbor chiropractor Mike Tannenbaum, D.C.

For many of us, it's “that time of year.” The snow comes down and thus snow-shoveling becomes part of our winter routine. Along with snow-shoveling comes the possibility of injury. Each year, thousands and thousands of back and shoulder injuries result from shoveling snow. According to research conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy, at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, from 1990 to 2006 an average of 11,500 annual visits to the emergency room were related to shoveling snow. The majority of the injuries were to the low back. Here are some shoveling tips to help keep your back healthy, taken from the National Safety Council.

  • Take it slow and stretch out before you begin

  • Do not shovel right after eating

  • Shovel only fresh, powdery snow, as it's lighter

  • Push the snow, rather than lifting it

  • If you do lift snow, use a small shovel, or fill the shovel only partially

  • Lift with your legs, not your back

  • Do not work to the point of exhaustion

  • Stop immediately if your chest hurts or feels tight, or if you get dizzy

And here are some other tips:

  • Tackle little bits of shoveling at a time

  • Wear good shoes/boots - those that have good traction on snow and ice

  • Dress for the weather conditions

  • Make sure you can see what you are doing

Of course, you should go to a chiropractor before you begin shoveling for the season, as this will improve your bone alignment, decreasing the chance for injury. And, of course, if you injure your back or neck while shoveling, going to a chiropractor is likely one of the best ways to resolve the injury.

If you have any questions about this blog post or chiropractic, headaches, neck pain or back pain I can be contacted at my Ann Arbor chiropractic office at mgtannenbaum@hotmail.com.

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