Medical Monday Winter Injuries

Published: Feb. 1, 2022 at 12:55 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - The weekend snow storm left plenty of people out shoveling and plowing their yards. So, health experts are taking this opportunity to remind people to be careful or you could get really hurt. Winter in the County is beautiful, but it can be very hard on the body. Doctor Robert McFadgen, a primary care physician at Northern Light AR Gould, says this time of year, the number of people visiting the doctor for weather related injuries goes up.

“Some are very mild, slip and falls, but what we worry about is those that are at risk for fractures, so in other words, those who have osteoporosis. That’s when we run the risk of fracture. Hip, low spine, big bone fracture.” says McFadgen.

Pulled muscles, muscle spasms and lower back pain are the most common reasons people head to the doctor this time of year due to removing snow, according to Dr. McFadgen. “Of course you’re bending over, lifting heavy snow. So, we always recommend taking it slow. Small lifts, bending with your knees, keeping your arms close to your body, the more extended your arms can be, the more you’re putting the weight onto your back. As opposed to keeping everything lined up.”

Dr. McFadgen recommends taking a break every 15 minutes and especially if you are starting to feel sore to go inside and warm up.

“Especially when it’s really cold. You know, you’re blood vessels will constrict, you’re getting less blood supply to the periphery, so you’re more likely to injure you’re back that way.” according to McFadgen.

If you are experiencing pain from shoveling, McFadgen says rest, Tylenol and a heat pack can help, but you should seek medical advice if you are not getting better or are serious pain. Muscle relaxers or physical therapy may be needed.

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