Having just received more than 2 feet of heavy snow, with more to come, there are good times on the way for residents of Northern Arizona. But before the good times roll, there is a lot of hard work to be done.
At Stay Tuned Therapeutics, when it snows, we see an influx of patients with sciatic nerve irritation, leg pain, rotator cuff impingement, arm pain & low back pain. Mindful shoveling techniques will keep you safe, saving your low back, legs, hips and shoulders for the fun to come.
The most operated on disc in the back in L5-S1. This is the very lowest disc in the back, between Lumbar spine and the sacrum. Repetitive motions can wear this disc out, cracking the annular fibers…a simple one time movement of forward bending and rotation, with a heavy load, may be what finally lands you in the emergency room. Forward head postures and rotation of the shoulders inward will lead to pinching and possible damage in the shoulders.
Here are some tips for preventing injury.
- Warm up, stretch some, and take breaks. Dress accordingly, don’t get too hot!
- WATER IN THY BODY.
- If you must bend over to shovel, come to a standing position before twisting the trunk to unload the snow.
- Bend at the knees, at least every other effort.
- Take small scopes of snow, start with the top layer. (A 12 lb load can translate to 586 lb compression to L5-S1 disc w bad body mechanics)
- Push snow down hill when you can.
- Alternate sides.
- Bring your head back and shoulders blades down before pitching the snow to save shoulders.
- Keep the shovel close to your body.
- Take a break.
- Plan on taking a while. Don’t rush!
Follow these steps, enjoy the day. Save your body for the snowshoeing, CC skiing, and get to the mountain when you can!