SOS Physiotherapy: Helping Arthritis Pain

WINTER DOS AND DON’TS WITH SOS

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It’s winter! And it is COLD and FROSTY. We thought we’d pull this old article with Andrew showing the finer parts of snow shoveling to help you weather the February chill season. But what else is the most common cause of injury other than shoveling? (and maybe slipping and falling on your butt....?). Scraping the ice off the windshield! Jon made his son Ben take these shots of the do’s and don’ts of windshield scraping, in minus 20-degree windchill with blowing snow! Snow shoveling can lead to a number of health risks for many people, from back injuries to heart attacks. The following tips can help keep you safer when you set out to shovel: Warm up. Warm your muscles before heading out to shovel by doing some light movements to get your body ready, such as bending side to side and walking in place. You are more likely to injure yourself with “cold” muscles. Push rather than lift. Pushing the snow with the shovel instead of lifting can help reduce the strain on your body.

Good Posture. When lifting is required be sure to bend at the hips and knees with your chest out. Place the snow instead of twisting and tossing. Lighten your load. Consider shoveling multiple times during a long snowfall and using a lighter shovel. You should also shovel right after a snowfall because waiting may allow the snow to melt slightly and become heavier. Look at Jon struggling in the first couple of shots...his teensy scraper, making him reach out over the long windshield and just asking for that shoulder to get injured. And his elbow flared way out to the side to try and exert extra pressure to chisel through the 1/4”inch icy wall. Ouch! But in picture 3 and 4 he’s got Jack Frost by the nose with better posture and better tools. Elbows are down and shoulder blades are tucked, and the extended long scraper allows him to put pressure across the windshield with the lower hand and still be in good position. Cold.....but SAFE!

Belmont Clinic Belmont Centre for Physical Medicine 564 Belmont Avenue West, Suite 301 Kitchener, Ontario N2M 5N6 TEL: (519) 743-4355

Campus Clinic University of Waterloo Student Life Centre

Elmira Clinic Behind Wellness Centre (Clock Tower) 3 Wyatt Street East, Suite 2 Elmira, Ontario N3B 2H4 TEL: (519) 669-1212

200 University Avenue West Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 TEL: (519) 884-0767

www.sosphysiotherapy.ca

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