“Focusing on injury prevention is the most important step people can take,” said Anita Moore, a physical therapist for CVPH Medical Center.
“If people can push snow rather than lift it, they might be better off in preventing injury. You might have to go outside more frequently to move snow by pushing it aside, but it may benefit you in the long run.”
If snow must be lifted, “use a wide stance with your feet spread out,” Moore said. “This will give you a wider base of support, a lower center of gravity and less stress on your back.”
Don’t bend from the waist but instead keep the lower back arched inward and shoulders back to keep your back straight while lifting, she said.
“When you’re moving the snow, pick up your feet and turn to where you want to go (rather than tossing it sideways). This will help prevent twisting the spine, which does put someone at risk for acute injury.”
Moore also suggests more frequent, shorter shoveling “as opposed to staying out and shoveling for two straight hours.”
By early afternoon, Fire Control offices in Clinton, Franklin and Essex counties hadn’t dispatched to a single personal-injury accident. The bulk of the calls were property-damage accidents and cars off the road, dispatchers said.
Essex County Emergency Services Director Donald Jaquish said they had no major problems in the county as a result of the storm.
“It’s just winter. It’s snowing, but we have no issues so far,” Jaquish said at noon Thursday.
Franklin County Emergency Services Director Ricky Provost said the National Weather Service’s forecasts and accumulation estimates were spot on, so county officials knew exactly what to expect.
“We were prepared. Everybody exercised caution driving today, and everything went well.”