Snow shoveling properly can reduce risk of injuries

When shoveling snow, you should never bend and twist.
When shoveling snow, you should never bend and twist.(WHSV)
Published: Jan. 14, 2019 at 12:35 PM EST
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Although this weekend's snow was the first of 2019, there is most likely more to come (possibly this coming weekend) and a local chiropractor is warning that shoveling snow improperly could lead to back issues.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, okay, so it's a lot easier to prevent that problem from happening than it is to fix it once it's already done," said Dr. Patrick Keefe, D.C of Shenandoah Chiropractic.

Keefe said after a snow storm, he often sees new patients or former patients with aggravated injuries because they are not shoveling snow properly.

"Snow shoveling is a very strenuous exercise and you're using a lot of muscle groups at the same time, and if you're not somebody who is really in shape, it can actually be something that can cause real problems for people that aren't fit," said Keefe.

Keefe said to push snow if possible and to move your body with the shovel if you have to move it to the side. Bend at the knees and move your feet when you throw the snow. He said the worst thing you can do is to bend and twist your body while holding a load of snow. Instead, do it in a controlled fashion and use your core.

"If you can take that little bit of extra time to avoid having an injury or getting an injury, it'll actually save you time and money in the long run," said Keefe.

Dr. Keefe suggested that people who are at high risk for heart attack or stroke hire someone to shovel their snow or get a family member or neighbor to help out.