Shoveling Heavy Snow Can Put Your Shoulders At Risk

For some, shoveling snow can result in a rotator cuff strain or tear. This is a painful injury that can leave you unable to move your shoulder for the rest of the holiday season. This is why it is important to not overdo it when shoveling, take breaks when it is needed, and rest as often as you can. The repetitive movement of lifting snow is an easy was to cause a painful injury. Keep these tips in mind the next time you have to go outside and shovel large amounts of snow.

Begin Strengthening Your Shoulders Before The Injury Happens

Many of these injuries happen because people are already sore and tired when they go out to shovel the snow. Shoveling can start to seem like a constant task when winter really starts to hit hard in December through February.

Engage Your Core When Shoveling

If your shoulders are already strong, you can help protect your shoulder by engaging your core. This is especially important when lifting the snow onto the snowbank. By engaging your core, you can better relieve some of the strain that goes onto your shoulders and back as you shovel.

Don’t Throw The Snow As High

A lot of the irritation that happens in the shoulder comes from constantly lifting a heavy weight to shoulder height. This happens because the humerus is forced agains the edge of the humerus against the edge of the acromion. If you do need to lift the snow to a higher level, be sure to lift with your legs and avoid tossing a heavy shovel full of snow consistently about the shoulder level.

Rest When You Feel An Injury Approaching

The most important tip to remember is that if you hear a pop or wake up the next day and are unable to life your are, that rest is necessary. You can apply ice on and off every fifteen minutes, but if the pain continues to persist or get worse after a few days, you may want to see a doctor. The doctor will likely prescribe physical therapy, where a shoulder pulley may be useful.

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