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Michigan winters promise to be one of the coldest and snowiest in many parts of the country. Shoveling often leads to back, neck, shoulder and wrist injuries. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has issued snow safety recommendations for inexperienced “shovelers” and those who may have grown complacent of the years.

Be aware that shoveling snow is an aerobic activity. Do 10 minutes of warm-up exercise. An appropriate warm-up may be shoveling at a very slow rate. Remember to pace yourself, take frequent breaks, and drink fluids to prevent dehydration.

Push the snow instead of lifting it. If you must lift, keep you feet apart, knees bent, and back straight. Lift with your legs. Walk to where you will dump it. Don’t twist your spine by throwing snow over your shoulder or to the side.

Watch out for ice patches and uneven surfaces. Wear slip-resistant soles. Don’t let clothing obscure vision.

Shovel early and often, before the snow becomes packed down. Attack deep snow in 2 inch layers, rest and then repeat.

Hire someone to remove snow if you have a medical condition or do not exercise regularly.

To consult with one of our doctors at Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron, please call (810) 985-4900 or click on the Appointment Request button.