This winter, incorrect shoveling will cause unnecessary pain and injury to the low back, neck and shoulders to many Northville residents.  Most of these injuries can be prevented.  There are many other causes of shoveling pain and injury such as twisting and bending from the waist and overall extension of the body.  To avoid back and neck pain this winter, please follow these snow shoveling safety tips:
  • Do not shovel if you have had a serious spinal, lung, or cardiovascular condition.
  • Do warm up exercises such as knee bends (25 reps/3 sets) and shoulder rotations doing big and small circles.
  • Dress for the weather.  Try to wear a long coat to protect the low back muscles from the cold air.
  • Always try to stand straight and bend from the knees.  Do not bend from the waist and always handle small to moderate loads.
  • Push rather than lift the snow and toss the snow close by rather than twisting and throwing.
  • Try to use arms, legs, feet and thighs in a smooth, coordinating motion to throw the snow.
  • Change grip and stance often to avoid overusing the stronger side of your body.
  • Pace yourself, don't overextend and rest frequently.
  • Don't shovel in extremely frigid weather.  The heart handles a large load while shoveling.  Exertion and frigid air causes a burden on the cardiovascular system.  This can lead to a heat attack.
  • If your health is a risk factor, don't take a chance.  Ask a neighborhood youngster for help. 

What should you do if you slip and fall:

  • If you are on the ground with someone, have that person call EMS.
  • If nothing is broken get to your spinal care physician (to check for whiplash or any misalignment's in the spine).
  • Get an extensive spinal examination from head to tail from a Chiropractic Physician.
  • Ice for 20 minutes on affected area and off for 1 hour - repeat this sequence 3-5 time in a day.
  • Do not move, stretch, or exercise affected areas.
  • Do not put heat on affected areas.  This will increase inflammation and pain.
  • Elevate any affected limb especially if swollen.
  • Do not wait to get an examination.
  • Get an examination even if you have no pain.  Symptoms are the last sign of damage to the body.

This material is brought to you by Dr. Stopa at Main Street Family Chiropractic Center, P.C. at 109 W. Main Street in Downtown Northville.  For questions, please call (248)735-9800