It has certainly been a snowy winter! With all the shoveling or even using a snow blower, repetitive improper bending over can cause stress and strains on the muscles and joints in your body.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association the shoulders, back, neck and knees are prime target areas for injuries. Following the suggested tips can help you minimize the risk of injury:
• Warm up before you begin. Get your heart rate up by taking a 10-minute walk followed by some stretches for your upper and lower back, neck, arms and legs. Roll your shoulders back in a circular motion and slowly move your head from side to side a few times to loosen up.
• Don’t overdo it. Be mindful of how the body feels. If you experience an aching back or neck, slow down and stretch or stop and switch to a different task.
• Change positions frequently to avoid stiffness or cramping.
• Practice proper body mechanics. Bend at your knees when you grab something; bend your knees and contract your abdominal muscles to avoid straining your back. Slight bending at your knees also applies to shoveling
• When shoveling, turn and pivot on your feet instead of twisting from your trunk to remove snow from your shovel.
• End your cleaning-up session with a short walk or some light stretching. Take a warm bath or shower to help prevent next-day soreness.
If you experience pain or have questions, you are welcome to contact Physical Therapy at Briarcliff at (914) 762 – 2222 or Physical Therapy at Jefferson Valley at (914) 245 – 8807; or visit our web at www.ptrehab.com. We are located inside Club Fit since 1983.