(My back hurts just thinking about it!)

With snow finally arriving, it’s starting to look a lot like winter! This means we are now left with the daunting task of snow shoveling.

Before heading out into the cold, please dress warmly. Due to the cold, most people tend to rush through the shoveling process, which often leads to an injury.

Using an appropriate shovel is also important. An ergonomically designed shovel makes snow shoveling less strenuous and is easier on your back.

Here are few pointers to keep in mind as you get ready to tackle that mound of snow at the end of your driveway.

¯ Warm up and stretch before heading out.

¯ Pace yourself, do a small section at a time.

¯ Bend at your knees and not at your hips when lifting to protect your back.

¯ It is better to lift a small load several times, than to lift a heavy load all at once

¯ Alternate sides with which you use the shovel to avoid soreness or tiredness in the shoulders.

¯ Avoid twisting while carrying a heavy load to prevent injury to your back.

Often after the first snowfall, most people will experience soreness in their shoulders and back. This is pretty common and should last approximately 1-2 days. However, if your pain worsens and continues, then you should see a physiotherapist to find out what the problem is before it gets worse.

If you have severe back, shoulder or neck pain, don’t ignore it. Left untreated, your condition could become chronic and require extensive treatment. The sooner you seek help, the faster you will recover.

If you think your pain is a result of muscle strain from overuse, see a registered massage therapist. Massage therapists are trained to assess your condition and are very good at easing sore muscles.

Listen to your body and take care of it. After all, you never know when it is going to snow again!

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