Protect yourself when winter weather packs a punch

Ontario chiropractors offer tips to help ward off common seasonal injuries

TORONTO, Dec. 8 /CNW/ - With the season's first winter storm looming, Ontarians can expect to get quite a workout clearing the driveway - especially when you consider that a single shovelful of snow weighs 5 to 7 pounds. Improper shoveling can lead to minor strains and sore muscles, and can also cause more serious injuries.

The good news, say Ontario's spinal health care experts, is that most of these injuries can be easily avoided - all it takes is a little know-how. That's why the Ontario Chiropractic Association (OCA) is relaunching its seasonal Lift Light, Shovel Right public education campaign.

"Most people don't realize that clearing their driveway involves moving several hundred pounds of snow," says OCA President Dr. David Brunarski. "Chiropractors certainly see a higher incidence of back and muscle pain or injuries following a heavy snow fall, and improper snow shoveling technique is frequently to blame."

The OCA's Lift Light, Shovel Right program was developed in 2003 to help inform the public about the risks associated with clearing snow, after a Pollara survey of 500 Ontario chiropractors concluded that snow shoveling was a leading cause of back injury during the winter months(1).

"Some of the strategies the program lays out can really help keep you pain-free this winter, and they're easy to put into practice," says Dr. Brunarski. "Warming up and taking frequent breaks can really make a difference. The program also provides information about proper bending and lifting techniques that won't strain your back and shoulders."

For more information on the Lift Light Shovel Right program, which features an educational brochure and poster, visit the OCA website, at

Founded in 1929, the Ontario Chiropractic Association represents the professional interests of more than 2,900 Ontario chiropractors. Chiropractic is a non-invasive, hands-on health care discipline that focuses on treatment and preventative care for disorders related to the spine, pelvis, nervous system and joints. Chiropractors are primary care practitioners, trained to develop and carry out a comprehensive treatment/management plan, recommend therapeutic exercise and other non-invasive therapies, and provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.

More than 1.2 million Ontarians rely on chiropractic care every year to help them get back to work and back to doing the things they love. For more information about chiropractic care or to find a chiropractor in your area, go to

    (1) 73 per cent of respondents surveyed listed improper snow shoveling
        technique as the leading cause of winter back pain. The survey is
        accurate to within +/-4.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

SOURCE Ontario Chiropractic Association

For further information: For further information: Jennifer Paige, Manager, Communications and Marketing, The Ontario Chiropractic Association, Tel (416) 860-7183, Toll-free 1-877-327-2273,,

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