Snow is inevitable if you live in New York. It can be a real pain to deal with, but it can also cause pain.
Dr. Erson Religioso is a physical therapist in Western New York who has some advice for avoiding injuries that can be caused by winter conditions.
"The average person flexes forward about 2,000 to 3,000 times a day," said Religioso. "So if you're doing lots of shoveling on top of that 2,000 to 3,000 times of forward bending, you're just doing too much forward bending and not enough extending."
No stranger to lake effect snow in Western New York, everyone across the Empire State should know how to shovel snow so they're not out of commission for a few days.
"You're going to lunge and accept weight on your leg. So that takes a lot of pressure off your back and that way you can kind of tense your core and keep your spine in neutral," said Religioso while demonstrating the best way to pick up snow with a shovel.
The doctor also has a tip or two when it comes to avoiding a slew of winter injuries, such as slipping on ice.
"The way people normally walk is they always walk, heel to toe, heel to toe, and that's natural and that's normal," he added while showing off a safer way to trek across dangerous ice from your front door to the open road. "If you just if you just walk as flat as possible, and literally act like you're walking on thin ice and walk carefully, but flat and slowly, you are much less likely to slip."
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistic’s most recent look at winter injuries, the average number of those related to snow, sleet and ice is more than 20,000. That’s not even factoring in personal injuries that happen when folks are hurt while working against the elements at home. It's something Religioso remembers from the most recent Snowvember in Buffalo’s Southtowns.
"I shoveled over the course of that weekend from Friday through Sunday, probably at least seven hours," he added. "So every once in a while, every 15 minutes or so, I would basically just put the shovel down and do as many backward bends as I could."
Any snow will take a toll on those who have to clear it out. If you’re not careful, it will be more than just a few hours after you finally see the pavement.
"The worst thing I could have done after several hours of shoveling each day is just do more things," said Religioso. "I literally just laid on a hot back, I took a hot shower, and I use some Helix pain cream as well."
While doing everything from shoveling to snow blowing and even hitting the gym to avoid picking up some winter weight, this physical therapist has a few words of free advice.
"If there's one thing you can take away from all of this ... you need to move well and move on,” Religioso said.