What to do if you Injure Yourself Shoveling

What to do if you Injure Yourself Shoveling

February 15, 2015

Shoveling is one of those chores that we can be very glad only comes around once each year. Unlike mowing the lawn, raking leaves or any other seasonal activities, snow shoveling is one that comes with numerous unforeseeable hazards and puts excessive strain on our bodies. When’s the last time you slipped and fell while mowing the lawn or pulled a muscle raking leaves?

The dangers that come with shoveling are twofold: 1) injuring yourself as a result of improper form and function or 2) injuring yourself as a result of some external variable, such as ice. Both mishaps come with their own set of factors to watch out for, yet many times, avoiding them is much easier said than done.

If you’re one of the unlucky millions of people who injure themselves each year shoveling snow, for whatever reason, it’s important that you know what to do and how to handle your injury, as to not exacerbate it any further. Take a look at some of the potential injuries you could encounter and how to rehabilitate yourself in Brampton with the right approach:

Rotator cuff strain

The constant lifting and throwing motion that comes with snow shoveling is going to target your rotator cuff almost exclusively, making rotator cuff strains some of the easiest injuries to come buy during shoveling season. If you get done shoveling and there’s a pain or burning near your shoulder socket, it’s likely a rotator cuff issue.

The best thing you can do for your body if you encounter a potential rotator cuff problem is to ice your shoulder and elevate your arm on a pillow while you sit. If it’s a strain, it can go away in as little as a day, however if pain lasts longer than a few days, it’s best to see a physiotherapist. Try not to exert yourself lifting anything else or put excessive strain on your arm during the healing process.

Lower back strain

It’s not hard to injure your lower back while shoveling and the best thing you can do for yourself when you feel pain is to stop immediately. Go inside and lay down, preferably on the floor or some other rigid surface, to help alleviate the strain on your lower back muscles.

Heat is going to help to alleviate some of the stress on your lower back, so it’s a good idea to use a heated blanket or a thermal wrap. Gently stretch your back when it’s no longer in immediate pain to help retain mobility and prevent cramping. Again, if pain persists longer than a few days, seek a professional opinion.

Neck pain

Between looking up and down at your driveway, over your shoulder at where the snow is landing and up at the sky in exasperation, it’s very likely that you’re going to put some strain on your neck while shoveling. People often complain of neck pain after shoveling and thankfully, it’s easy enough to rehabilitate yourself in Brampton if the pain is minor.

Hang a hot towel from your neck when you’re done outside and slowly rotate your head around so that your neck muscles stretch. Do this throughout the day and you’re bound to feel better by the evening—if not, don’t be afraid to have someone gently massage the base of your neck for you. If the pain is great or lingers for more than a few days, you know the drill: seek a professional opinion.

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