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Snow Shovel Safety Tips by Raleigh Chiropractor

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OK, so I figure if I don’t write an email about how to shovel snow safely, we will get like 20 inches of the stuff,  and if I do write one,  we will get nothing for the rest of winter and a tropical heat wave will set in.  So that is why you are getting these shoveling tips...you’re welcome.

First to put it in perspective 16,500 ER visits happen on average each year from injuries sustained while shoveling snow! That does not count the many, many visits to chiropractors in Raleigh each year following snow storms. Shoveling snow is hard work.  Research shows the energy used to shovel snow is comparable to the amount of energy needed to complete an active round of tennis or speed walk at 5 mph.

Show how can we get this job done and not hurt ourselves?


Here are a few tips to make your winter “workout” in Raleigh pain-free.

  1. Warm up First!  Sounds simple enough, but a tight stiff body going into the cold to lift,  is a recipe for pain and injury!  The most common areas in need of limbering up include your arms, lower back, and hamstrings. Also, try marching in place for 3-5 minutes to get the blood pumping and warm up the lower body.
  2. Proper Equipment.  Your shovel should be approximately chest high which will allow you to keep your back straight.  Shoveling with a small shovel requires you to bend too much.  Wear good boots for traction.  A lot of injuries occur because improper footwear allowing you to slip and fall.
  3. Proper Posture (push don’t toss) - Bend with your knees, keep your back straight while lifting with your legs.  You have heard that 1000 times but you forget after the third shovel full of snow!  Push the snow straight ahead don’t throw it to the side, that causes you to twist your lower back and torso.  I recommend a scissors stance which puts one foot in front of the other and lift with your legs.
  4. Take your time - You get no bonus points for finishing it faster!  Small scoops of snow weigh less and put less stress on your back and joints.  Resting helps avoid overuse strains of your shoulders, wrists and back.
  5. See your Chiropractor - yes this sounds self serving but getting adjusted and keeping your spine and joints moving properly goes a long way to preventing injuries in the first place.

Call Ashforth Chiropractic Family Wellness Center in Raleigh today to schedule an appointment.

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Ashforth Chiropractic Family Wellness Center
6512 Six Forks Road #103
Raleigh, NC 27615
(919) 844-6560

"My family is impressed by his attentiveness, along with the helpfulness of his staff. We’re happy to refer Ashforth Chiropractic Family Wellness Center to all of our family and friends!"

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"Dr. Ashforth takes his time to explain every aspect of your treatment and makes you feel very comfortable and confident that you will make a full recovery."

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"Excellent first visit. Dr. Ashforth is very easy to talk to, kind, and professional. The office staff at the front desk was very friendly and professional."

- Alice B.

Recommended Chiropractor - White

6512 Six Forks Road #103
Raleigh, NC 27615