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Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-11-17-10-amWhile snow is rare here compared to other areas of the country, we do still get the dreaded white stuff (and ice!) from time to time. Play it safe this winter by following these tips when cleaning snow from your walkways and driveway.

Warm up before going out in the cold.

A stiff, tight body is ripe for injury. Spend a few minutes stretching before you head out to save yourself from lots of potential pain later. Stretch out your neck, arms and legs before lifting a shovel.

Wear layers.

Layering clothes keeps your muscles flexible and warm in the cold weather. If you get too hot, peel off a layer. Wear gloves that cover your wrists to keep your hands, fingers and arms warmer too.

Wear the right shoes.

Don’t head out in your sneakers! Instead, wear boots with good traction to keep you safer on ice. Choose a pair with lots of cushioning in the soles to make walking on hard, frozen ground more comfortable.

Use the right shovel.

Many injuries can be prevented simply by choosing the right size of shovel. It should come up to about your chest, letting you keep your back straight when lifting. If the staff is too short, you’ll have to bend more to lift a load of snow. If it’s too long, the weight will be heavier at the shovel’s end.

Watch the forecast.

Pay attention to the forecast so you head out in ideal conditions. If you can, hold out until the afternoon to shovel because there is increased fluid pressure on the spinal disc in the morning due to the body resting all night. This increased pressure can lead to more injuries.

Use proper posture.

Our team of chiropractors in Vancouver talk about posture a lot, and for good reason! Using proper posture is important for preventing injuries and protecting your back. When shoveling, keep your back straight, lift with your legs and bend your knees. Avoid sudden twists of the torso and take your time.