Sunday, November 03, 2002

November 2002 Newsletter

Complementary Medicine Newsletter

November 2002


We know this may sound premature, but they are predicting snow this week! We all know the fundamentals of proper back care while doing physical labor, but a quick review never hurts!

Not only is snow shoveling dangerous to your spine, it is also hazardous to your heart health. A shovel of snow weighs on the average 5-10pounds. Your walk or driveway can hold hundreds of pounds of snow. Snow shoveling can present a challenge in that the cold air invigorates yet numbs fatigue and pain potentially masking the severity of sprain and strain. The result: too much exertion and too much work without rest.


1. Dress warmly, but not bulky so as to limit natural movement.

2. Use a light-weight push type shovel. Spray with pam to prevent snow from sticking.

3. Keep one hand close to the base of the shovel to balance weight and lessen strain.

4. Try not to lift the snow or pitch it. Merely push it or walk it to a pile.

5. Avoid sudden twists of the torso. Move your entire body.

6. Keep your back straight if you lift and bed your knees and use your legs as leverage.

7. Work slowly. Shovel 5 minutes, rest two minutes

8. If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a rest. Stand up straight and breathe deeply.

9. If you feel a twinge of back pain, stop immediately and go inside.

Sit down and rest and if pain persists call us! If there is any indication of a heart problem, call 911!


Dr. Glenn and Julie Smith

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