Proper form for shoveling snow reduces chance for injury

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During this time of year, shoveling is a necessary evil. But if you’re doing it wrong, not only is the chore a hassle, but also a literal pain in the neck.

Like many things, there is a right and a wrong way to do it. When it comes to shoveling, bend at your knees, take a power stance to avoid slipping, and do not twist to discard snow. Believe it or not, there are also specialized handles for snow shovels aimed at making this lengthy chore, less grueling. For those with known heart issues, shoveling is best left to another person. Every year in the US, an average of 100 people die shoveling snow. Most cases are related to heart problems.

“Your blood vessels are constricted due to the cold weather so your heart is having to work a lot harder and pump more blood and that’s going to lead to a few heart problems or put a lot of strain on your heart as well  as your muscles,” says Devon Gurnett, Mercy Wellness Specialist.


Doctors warn that if you do go out to shovel and start experiencing shortness of breath, a lot of chest pain, and numbness in your arm, that these are symptoms of a heart attack. If you start to have these symptoms, doctors suggest going to your physician or a hospital immediately, and to not disregard the problems as regular muscle fatigue.


 

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