January 2016 – Rehab and Wellness Connection

Outdoor Activities and Your Back Safety

Just like summer heat and activities, winter's cold activities can cause many problems to our muscles and body too. Whether you are enjoying the sports portion of winter by skiing, snow shoeing or snowmobiling or working in the weather by shoveling, snow plowing or your job entails working outdoors, we want to offer you some tips to stay healthy.

Shoveling is strenuous work and if not completed properly, can cause injury.  Here are a few tips to help you avoid injury:

  • Perform warm up or stretching exercises before shoveling
  • Every 15 minutes take a minute or two rest break
  • Do not lift snow higher than 4 feet or try to throw it further than 3 feet
  • Do not shovel more than 15 scoops per minute
  • Keep the shovel close to your body and move your feet in the direction you throw (don't twist your spine)
  • If you have a heart condition or history of low back pain, try to avoid shoveling altogether
  • Stop if you feel pain

Enjoying outdoor activities in the winter can be as strenuous on your body as in the heat of summer. It is best to wear your clothing in layers in case you become overheated. Wear a material closest to your skin that will wick moisture away, including socks. Be sure to hydrate well before and during activity. 

If, after any winter activity you experience pain for more than 24 hours and icing has not helped, you have fallen, or you have any suspicion that you have strained or sprained a body part, call us to schedule your free injury screen. Physical Therapists are trained professionals who have specialized in body movement and neuro musculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment.

You do not have to live with pain or body fatigue! Don't hesitate to give us a call or stop in our clinic if you are interested in learning if physical therapy might be able to help restore your performance to help you live your life to the fullest. The knowledgeable, trained staff at CLEAR LAKE PHYSICAL THERAPY & REHAB SPECIALISTS is just a visit away! We will use many tools to assess your level of symptoms and create an individualized treatment plan for you and monitor your progress along the way, call Clear Lake PTRS at 715-263-4103 or stop in at 417 3rd Avenue in Clear Lake.