snow shoveling

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Snow, while beautiful can be a pain to move off the driveway? One “average” snow shovel weighs in at about 5.7 pounds. Of course, the weight depends on the type of snow, but in Utah, we know our snow is usually pretend dense so it’s normally on the heavier side. Snow and Utah has always been normal, but unfortunately many Utahans can experience long-term muscle strain and pain due to snow shoveling. If you have dealt with several days of snow shoveling, you’re likely experiencing some pretty sore muscles. Let our experts at Health and Wellness Clinic in Layton help you find relief from muscle strain and pain related to snow shoveling. 

Common Injuries from Snow Shoveling 

What types of injuries do we see from snow? Typically, people dealing with snow shoveling injuries have muscles that have been forced to contract past their stretching point. Overusing the muscle in a repeated manner can cause muscle fibers to tear. Muscle strain is the most common ailment we treat from snow shoveling. Slips and falls commonly happen when dealing with snow. Slips and falls almost always lead to some type of muscle strain and other injury. Back pain is quite common with snow shoveling due to overexertion. Here are some of the most common symptoms that you have muscle strain:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Limited range of motion
  • Soreness 
  • Sudden, sharp onset of pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Stiffness 

Self-Care for Treating Muscle Strains

How can you treat muscle strains? Muscles require rest when they have been injured. The best way to start treating your pain is to follow the R.I.C.E. method. RICE is short for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Following this method, you can give your muscle time to naturally heal itself. Begin this method by resting, so hopefully you can find a friend or neighbor to assist with your snow shoveling needs for a few days as you are healing. The resting phase needs to focus on ceasing strenuous activity, so the body doesn’t continue injuring itself more. Ice packs can be applied to the area with a gentle massage. Elevating the area is beneficial if you do have swelling that is occurring with the injury. 

Professional Muscle Strain Treatment

Chiropractic treatment focuses on helping the body heal naturally. Schedule a consultation for our providers to evaluate the severity of your muscle strain and design a personalized patient treatment program. We will look at the strained muscle, along with the overall alignment of the body as it can lead to additional pain and inflammation in the body. Misalignment does lead to several issues and can make a simple muscle strain worse due to overcompensation in another area. Manual manipulation treatments are used to help soothe the inflamed muscle and calm the nerves. 

How to Prevent Muscle Strain

Salt Lake City averages about 54 inches of snow yearly. We know the snow isn’t going anywhere, so that means its time to take a few moments to prepare the body and have it ready for the next big snowstorm that occurs in Utah. At Health and Wellness Clinic in Layton, we are committed to our patient’s health. We want to prevent some of these serious injuries we have seen occur over the years due to snow shoveling. Use these tips to stay safe and reduce the risk of muscle strain:

  • Wear correct gear, including boots that have adequate grip.
  • Do not shovel too much at one time. If your body has a history of getting muscle strains from heavy snow, plan on only shoveling half of your driveway and come back a few hours later to shovel more.
  • Drink plenty of water! Muscle strain can happen easily when you are dehydrated. The body needs water to energize your muscles and keep them healthy. 

If you are experiencing pain, contact our Layton chiropractic clinic. Our experts are here to provide you with in-depth treatments for common snow shoveling injuries. Request a consultation or give us a call today at 801-784-4807!