MONTREAL, Nov. 26, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - December is putting on its
traditional white coat and whether we like it or not, winter rhymes
with snow storm! Here are a few useful tips to make sure you shovel
safely this season.
Shovelling is a highly demanding physical activity for your heart and
joints and it can cause many injuries. According to Dr. Robert David,
chiropractor and spokesperson for the Association des chiropraticiens
du Québec, "the amount of patients who see their chiropractor for muscle, joint or
nerve injuries increases during the winter months. Yet, many injuries
could be avoided if the right shovelling technique were being used."
Extreme temperatures like the ones we experience in Quebec make
shovelling an even more difficult task. To avoid injuries, here are a
few tips that will help you make the right decisions when the first big
snowfalls will show up to your doorstep.
Don't let snow pile up. It is preferable to shovel frequently in small
quantities than to wait until the storm is over.
In order to loosen up your joints and activate your blood circulation,
take 5 to 10 minutes to warm up before starting. To do so, walk in
place, go up and down the stairs, stretch your torso side to side and
stretch your back.
Use a lightweight shovel with an ergonomic curved handle. Ideally, your
shovel should be made out of plastic or aluminum and designed to push
the snow. Its handle should be long enough so that you don't have to
bend over to work, though it should not be higher than your shoulders.
Push the snow to the side rather than throwing it. If you absolutely
need to throw it, lift only the amount you are able to carry and move
your feet in the desired direction. Never throw snow over your shoulder
height. Flexion-extension and rotating movements cause a lot of tension
to your intervertebral disks and ligaments. Lumbar sprains and
herniated disks can arise from such movements.
Use your leg muscles instead of your back. Don't forget to bend your
knees, to always keep your back straight and to keep the shovel close
to your body.
Don't turn your torso and never throw snow over your shoulder or
Don't always work on the same side; make sure you shovel snow equally
your right and left side.
Wear many layers of clothing so you can remove some if needed and still
be properly dressed to prevent chilblains.
Keep a regular rhythm and take frequent breaks, especially if you are
shovelling heavy, wet snow.
If you feel tired or short of breath, take a break every 10 to 15
Drink a lot of water. Dehydration occurs as much in the winter as in the
Watch out for temperature rises. In cold weather, the physical strain is
lower than when the temperature rises. Water concentration in snow
increases in weight and risks of injuries become higher. So when spring
comes, make sure you take smaller shovels of snow.
If you experience pain after shovelling, apply ice on the affected area
for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, rest for a few hours. Be careful when
applying heat, it could cause inflammation. During the day, apply ice
every hour. If the pain persists for more than three days, consult a
chiropractor near you.
If your spine is not in great shape, the risks of developing more
problems when the first snow storm occurs are much higher. Prevent
pain! See your chiropractor for a full neuromusculoskeletal system
About the ACQ
The Association des chiropraticiens du Québec (ACQ) is a non-profit
organisation created in 1967. As part of its public education mission,
the ACQ seeks to constantly promote educational projects that enhance
public health using natural approaches. With that in mind, we are
pleased to offer tips to the citizens of Quebec for a safe and healthy
Holiday and winter season.
To find out more about how to shovel right, we invite you to visit our
website at www.chiropratique.com. For interviews, please contact the Association des chiropraticiens du
SOURCE: Association des chiropraticiens du Québec
For further information:
Marie-France Nadeau Lafortune, communications & marketing coordinator
Association des chiropraticiens du Québec
7960, Boulevard Métropolitain Est, Montréal (Québec) H1K 1A1
t. 514355.0557 EXT. 3 | 1.866.292.4476 | f. 514.355.0070
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