Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Ouchless snow shoveling
Snow is heavy--it looks light--but isn't.
Kaliq Chang, MD, of the Atlantic Spine Center, says the white stuff landed 28,000 people in the ER in 2014.
Some tips for avoiding:
--Warm up. Light stretching or calesthenics.
--Shovel, scrape, repeat. Don;'t let it pile up--during a storm, clear the snow periodically.
--Right equipment. A bent-handled, ergonomically correct shovel takes stress off your back. Make sure the shovel fits your height and strength.
--No throwing. Do not toss the snow over your shoulder.
--Push, don't lift.. If you must lift, use your legs.
--Wear proper boots. You can also injure your back from falling. Boot up!
What if you do this wrong, and your back gets sore?
--Rest. A few days can do the trick. But inactivity can also make things worse.
--Ice or heat. Either can increase blood flow.
--Medication. Ibuprofen or naproxen can reduce inflammation. Be sure these don't interact with other meds.
--In extreme cases, steriod injections can be given into the muscles or minimally invasive spine surgery may be indicated.
My advice--Go slow on the latter--and get a kid to shovel for you. But you know how I am.