Extreme temperatures and heavy snow in New York can lead to debilitating shoulder pain. Approximately 12,000 adults experience injuries from shoveling snow each year. If you already have shoulder issues, you can aggravate your condition and make it worse. Taking preventive steps to protect yourself can help eliminate or reduce pain so you can enjoy your favorite winter activities. Here are three tips to help you prevent shoulder joint pain while you are shoveling snow this winter.
Stretch and Strengthen Before Shoveling
Before you start shoveling snow, you may want to warm up your muscles with stretching to prevent stiffness and inflammation. There are exercises you can do when not shoveling to help you strengthen your shoulders and back to reduce the risk of injuries. Consult with an orthopedic specialist to help you with an exercise routine to prevent shoulder joint pain during the winter season. Dress in layers to keep your shoulder muscles warm while you are shoveling.
Practice Good Body Mechanics
While shoveling, be mindful of your body mechanics to prevent shoulder joint pain. Keep your shoulder blades back, bend your waist and lift with your legs. Keep your loads light to avoid excess strain. Avoid tossing snow higher than your shoulders or you could develop a torn rotator cuff or tendinitis. Push the snow with your shovel when possible, instead of lifting. Pivot your entire body when moving snow instead of twisting your back.
Take Frequent Breaks
Shoveling snow can be strenuous on your body. Take frequent breaks to prevent injury. Work a small area and stop at the first sign of pain. Go inside for a few minutes to warm up and stretch. If possible, enlist family or friends to help you to make the job go faster.
Achieve Long-Lasting Shoulder Joint Pain Relief in New York
Winter weather in New York can be dangerous to your shoulders and back when shoveling snow. If you are experiencing persistent shoulder joint pain, treatment from an experienced orthopedic surgeon may be an effective solution for lasting relief. Dr. Steven Struhl specializes in shoulder and knee injuries using state-of-the-art technology and treatment solutions. Call to book an appointment today.
Posted on behalf of Steven Struhl MD