Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

Posted on December 9th, 2016 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

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Shoveling snow isn’t just an inconvenience, it’s potentially dangerous. Don’t believe it? Each year, more than 10,000 people visit the emergency room for injuries sustained while shoveling. These injuries range from soft tissue injuries, to broken bones, to cardiac arrest.

Follow these tips from the bone and joint experts at Orthopaedic Speciality Group to make it through the next winter storm unharmed…

Shovel early and often.

If you are expecting a large storm, it is better to shovel smaller loads every hour or two than it is to let the snow accumulate. It’s no fun shoveling your driveway several times during the same storm, but it is even less fun to throw out your back because the snow became too heavy.

Lift with your legs.

The best way to shovel snow is by pushing it. If you must lift it, make sure to use proper technique in order to avoid injuring your lower back. Bend at your knees, keep your back straight, and lift with your legs.

Stay hydrated.

Shoveling can be hard labor, and it’s not uncommon to work up a sweat as you’re clearing out the snow. Make sure you are drinking enough water to replenish what your body is losing.

If you feel any pain, stop immediately.

Don’t attempt to “suck it up” and work through the pain — you risk the possibility of further injuring yourself.

If you sustain a soft tissue or bone injury while shoveling (or from anything else) this winter, help is available at OSG. As southern Connecticut’s largest and most experienced orthopedic practice, you can trust our team of doctors to fix virtually every bone and joint in your body. Contact us online to get started, or give us a call at (203) 337-2600.