Shovelling isn’t just a frustrating chore; the lifting and bending required to shovel snow can be hazardous.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reports that, according to the 2013 US Consumer Product Safety Commission, “Approximately 28,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries that happened while shovelling or removing ice and snow manually.”
Here are some of the most common injuries:
1. Soft tissue injuries
The most common diagnosis for shovelling-related incidents, according to a study originally published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine (AJEM). Of the estimated 11,500 snow shovel-related injuries and medical emergencies that are treated every year in the U.S., 54.7% are soft tissue damage. A soft tissue injury is damage to muscles, ligaments and tendons usually caused by a sprain, strain, a blow, or overuse.
2. Sprains and strains
Particularly in the back and shoulders, as some of the most common injuries related to snow removal. Snow shovelling is a strenuous activity that requires both repetitive motion and heavy lifting, making strains and sprains clear risks.
Of the cases analysed by the AJEM article, 34.3% involved lower back injuries. The weight of snow is easy to underestimate, and the effort and movements involved in shovelling can have painful results. Strains and tears in the muscles and ligaments of the lower back usually result in inflammation and can lead to back spasms.
Prevention and Treatment
Often, the injuries associated with snow-shovelling can be prevented or minimized by using proper, ergonomic lifting technique. Of course, other factors such as ice and unexpectedly heavy snow can cause even the most conscientious snow-shoveler harm.
If you find yourself with injuries as a result of a snow shovelling attempt gone wrong, a chiropractor may be able to assist you in reducing pain and managing your recovery. Chiropractic adjustments are often useful for treating back and neck pain, as well as issues with joints throughout the body. Additionally, a chiropractor can provide stretches and strengthening exercises to assist with recovery.
Our experienced chiropractor, Dr. Alec Khlebopros, practices a wealth of services, treatment options, and procedures that help to restore patients to their healthy selves.