Avoid shoveling injuries and choose the right type of shovel

Certain areas still have 5 to 14 inches of fresh snow


CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Western Massachusetts got less snow than expected, but still, many people had anywhere from 5 and 14 inches of snow to shovel, depending on where you live.

If you don’t have a snow blower, it’s all you and your shovel doing the work. And we are expecting some more snow in the second half of this week.

Right after a snowstorm, doctors often see patients with back injuries. Many strain their spine trying to throw the snow over their shoulder or they got dehydrated.

According to Dr. Julio Martinez, a Sports Medicine Specialist at Baystate Medical Center, “You can check your weight before and after. Basically after you’ve been shoveling snow you can maybe replace every pound that you have lost in sweat with a glass of water, and that will actually keep you well hydrated.”

You should always use your knees, instead of your back, to lift. And never overload the shovel with heavy wet snow.

It’s also important to know the different types of shovels you can use. If you only have an inch or two of fresh snow that you can push, you can always use the pushing shovel.

Rocky’s East Longmeadow Manager Bob Lanks said “So the pushing ones, it’ll be curved like this, whereas the scooping ones will be a little taller. So you know, you’ll be, just walking with this to push.”

Lifting shovels are narrower and taller. And because snow accumulations vary, it’s a good idea to have both types.

Lanks said “And try to get one that fits you. You know, I’m pretty tall. I actually like these better because they have longer handles for me anyways. So I don’t want to be down to the ground, hurting my back. You don’t want to hurt your back. You want to be safe while lifting the snow.”

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