Shoveling snow is a normal part of living in New York City during the winter months. What many people may not realize, however, is that experiencing pain from snow shoveling is not normal. If you frequently suffer joint aches and pain, you may want to consult with an orthopedic surgeon in the event that you have sustained an injury. To help prevent future discomfort and injuries, here are some tips on how to safely and effectively clear away winter snow.
Warm up before you begin
Snow shoveling is considered moderate activity, which is why you should warm up before you begin . Sudden muscle exertion can result in torn tendons and joint injury. To make sure that your body is prepared for an afternoon of shoveling, stretch your body ahead of time and engage in mild activity beforehand to get your muscles warm and loose. To keep your body properly heated, wear plenty of layers when you go outside.
Choose an appropriate shovel size
The bigger the shovel, the more snow you can move. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, though. Compact snow can be deceptively heavy, which is why orthopedic doctors recommend smaller shovels for safer snow clearing. While it may take more time to remove snow from your sidewalk, a smaller shovel can prevent injury due to strain and overexertion.
Stop if you experience pain
If you feel discomfort in any of your joints, stop shoveling immediately. The snow can wait, but your pain should not. Orthopedic specialists advise that you should always lift heavy objects with your legs, but be careful to not let your knees take the brunt of your snow shoveling. If your legs, wrists, or shoulders begin to ache or burn, leave the rest of your shoveling for another day and consult an orthopedic surgeon if your pain persists.
Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine can attend to your snow shoveling injuries with expert orthopedic care. To find out more about our services, or to schedule an appointment with an orthopedist at our office in New York City, call (866) 650-8063 today.