Tips to help you from getting hurt while shoveling
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- The Twin Tiers is digging out after our first major snow storm of the season. But if you jump right into shoveling and try to get it done fast, you could end up doing more harm than good.
"Driveways get long, snow gets heavy," said Arnot Health Orthopedic Surgeon, Jared Smith, MD. "The biggest mistake is people go out and forget their form, start lifting with their back, twisting that kind of thing. May not bug you right at that time, but a couple hours later people start coming in with these low back pains, knee pains, things like that."
When you're shoveling, Smith says to bend at the knees and let your legs do the heavy lifting. While the wet heavy snow makes for great snowballs, it could really hurt someone shoveling if you don't take your time.
"Take your time," said Smith. "Don't be a hero. Don't lift up heavy things. Focus on the form, take longer, smaller bites if you need it and really be careful of the footing. We see just as many people that fall and break their hips than people that come in with low back pain as a result of the shoveling."
Pine City resident, Martin King, used the snow day to shovel out many places, including the Park Church in Elmira.
"It's all about pacing yourself," said King. "Don't think in terms of getting the thing done right away. Take your time, stop, breathe, go get warm, come back out. As long as you pace yourself and the trick is to use a smaller shovel. The smaller the shovel the lighter the load."
He says it's important to be in no rush when you're shoveling.
"I say if you have to do it yourself and you're my age, or older, take your time," said King. "Don't worry about getting it all done in one hour. If it takes you all day, it takes you all day."