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Cadillac Chiropractor Gives Tips To Avoid Shoveling Injuries

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Winter time is shoveling season in Northern Michigan.

However, all that work can be back breaking, literally.

A Cadillac chiropractor tells us why you may be hurting and what you can do to avoid it.

Chiropractor Scott Reagan says he sees plenty of patients with back problems directly related to shoveling this time of year, “A very typical situation that comes through my door day in day out, my number one complaint is when they come in, they’re hunched over, they feel like they’re an 80 year old person.”

While at Scott’s practice, we ran into one of these patients, James Skiera who told us he experiences a lot of pain from shoveling, “I’ve had a stabbing pain in the middle of my back and sometimes it’s put me right down on the ground.”

Scott says that pain can come from pulling on the back muscles, “Well basically when people are shoveling they’re utilizing the musculature that’s in the back usually called the Erector Spinae right here, that’s what picks us up when we lift.”

A common mistake people make is that they don’t realize there’s actually two different types of shovels for shoveling winter snow.

A more shallow shovel is good for scooping snow, while a shovel with a bigger incline is better for pushing snow.

Scott also says a lot of pain comes from people trying to use the wrong type of shovel, “They go you know what, I’m gonna use this push shovel to try and scoop and that’s where there might be some a lot of injuries or accidents can occur.”

To help with the pain, Reagan suggests, stretching, temporary back braces, and applying ice for short periods of time.

However, he says, at a certain point you may just need the doctor, “If it really affects your job or your activities to daily living. That’s when you wanna come in.”

Scott says he knows from experience, a good way to shovel with the proper form is to simply slow down, “The job is gonna get done so just slow and steady wins the race don’t try to shovel it all at once just take small bites, even though it’s gonna take you a little more time but it’s not gonna create an accident in the long term.”