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Fall/Winter 2013

146927018With the snow season fast approaching, remember snow shoveling causes more than 11,000 emergency room visits each year. Now is a good time to inspect your snow shovel. Newer snow shovels ease the stress on your back with a longer pole, new poles are adjustable, and curved which can decrease the amount of bending needed. A smaller blade may be better than a large one, this prevents you from picking up too much snow at a time.

Here are some tips to keep your back healthy:

1. Dress Appropriately - not only will this help keep you warm, but having the proper footwear will keep your feet grounded reducing the risk for slips. And use gloves to help you keep a better grip on the shovel. 

2. Warm Up - shoveling snow is as hard as some other exercises, such as running, so make sure you warm up your muscles before you go out. Try some jumping jacks to loosen up.

3. Use your legs - to avoid added pressure on your spine, lower yourself with your legs, not your back.

4. Alternate sides - throwing the snow only to one side may cause soreness, switch it up, throw snow from your right and left side. Avoid tossing snow over your shoulders. 

5. Lift correctly - remember to try to push the snow as much as possible, and not lift unless you have to. If you do have to lift - begin by standing with your feet about hip width apart and keep the shovel close to your body. Bend from the knees (not the back) and tighten your stomach muscles as you lift the snow, twisitng movements cause back strain. 

6. Relax! - once completed take a hot shower to relax your muscles and stretch. Doing so will prevent too much soreness the next day.

Remember, if you do incur an injury, use ice in 20 minute intervals to reduce the swelling and, if your personal medical situation permits, take ibuprofen. If you hear a "pop" or "snap", it's time to see a doctor. Remember, toughing it out might be the wrong decision. Schedule your appointment online

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Current patients can now request to schedule or change an appointment through the patient portal and request prescription refills.