Well, today we had a lot of snow hit the ground, relatively fast. But, this time, the weathermen got it right, and gave us plenty of notice.
We were able to actually reschedule all of today’s patients for tomorrow. My front desk person did that last night, as we had good information on the forecasted weather.
Every time this happens, most of us husbands trudge out into the cold, on a mission to clear snow from our driveways and sidewalks.
Every year when this happens, there are always an abundance of people the following week, sitting in my waiting room, having injured themselves from overdoing it.
The first thing that I would caution is based on your medical history. If you have a history of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, you should NOT be doing the heavy shoveling.
Have one of your older children do it, or hire a high-school kid to shovel for you!!!
They will gladly do it for you for 20 dollars or so!!!
I cannot stress this enough! Too many people try to do it themselves, when they have no business doing so, only to end up in the emergency room, for what could have and should have been easily prevented.
Now, if you must shovel your own driveway, then for Pete’s sake, do it slowly and methodically. Take breaks every 5-10 minutes. Go back inside if you are getting too cold. Drink water and stay hydrated.
Avoid all alcohol, nicotine, and caffiene 2 hours prior to the shoveling. These tend to dehydrate you and raise the blood pressure.
Bend at the knees, and don’t use your back to lift the heavy, wet snow off the driveway. Don’t use the shovel to chip away at ice. Consider using ice melt or sand instead. Do not twist at the same time as lifting—that’s how our patients herniate discs.
March in place BEFORE shoveling to warm-up. That will increase your heart rate and circulation, prior to the stress you will place on your body when shoveling.
Good Luck, and stay safe!!
Dr. Steve Lininger