Your First Visit

Our Locations

Meet Our Staff

Avoiding Injury While Shoveling Snow

As another storm approaches many of you are still dealing with the physical effects of previous shoveling injuries. There is always the significant cardiac cocern. Doing exertive work, especially with your arms, in a cold environment after being sedentary for prior weeks or months is a perfect storm for a heart attack. If you are over 35 years of age and feel pain in your pec region and/or down your left arm, assume the worst and go to the hospital. The most common injuries that I have seen this winter aside from ankle, shoulder and wrist fractures from slipping are; Shoulder: rotator cuff tendonitis, and bicipital tendonitis, Elbow: tennis elbow,  Back: low back sprain and herniated disc, Legs: quadriceps strain and hamstring strain, Neck: neck strain. The first rule is that if you have to shovel, please stretch EVERYTHING (hips, knees, wrists, elbows, shoulders, back and neck). Warm up prior to shoveling - jump in place, ride your indoor bike or treadmill, and/or slowly start shoveling while steadily building to a more aggressive pace. Take frequent breaks; shovel in intervals of 5 minutes with 2 minute rests. If you feel any body part start to tighten up and get painful, immediately stop and stretch that body part. Bend your knees more and bend your back less. Alternate use of hand placement, front and back of shovel.  When you are done shoveling, stretch EVERYTHING again. Ice down any areas that are still sore. The following day you may experience soreness even if you followed these tips. The concern is 2-3 days later, if any of these pains persist. In that case fell free to tell what hurst for further assistance.

Avi K, PT