Contact Information

2616 Locust Gap Highway
Mt. Carmel, PA 17851
Phone: (570) 339-3909
Fax:     (570) 339-1745

Insurance Accepted

- Geisinger Health Plan
- Blue Cross / Blue Shield
- Medicare
- Aetna / US
- Keystone
- Health America
- Auto Insurance
- Workers Compensation

Winter Back Care

Winter is here again, with snow and sleet, windchill and low humidity. This is also one of the worst times of year for your back and shoulders. Here are some tips to help keep yourself fit and injury free during the cold season:

1. Keep up an exercise program. You don’t have to stop exercising because you can’t do it outside right now. Many health clubs offer monthly memberships. Go to the mall and walk. Pick a fitness program on TV and follow along 3 days a week. (Consult a physician before starting ANY new exercise program).

2. Avoid sudden bursts of hard activity, like shoveling for an hour. When it is time to go out and clear the walks or dig out the car, plan ahead. Warm up in the house with stretches for the back, arms and legs. Dress warmly in clothing that allows easy movement. Do it in stages. Shovel for 10 to 15 minutes then take a break, stretch the back, arms, and legs.

3. Cover your nose and mouth with a loose scarf. Right now humidity is very low. Heavy breathing during exertion can cause drying of the throat and mucous membranes in the nose, putting you at risk for infection in these areas. A loose cover over these areas will help trap moisture in the air you breathe, allowing you to avoid possible irritation.

4. Watch for drops or holes. Sometimes snow cover can hide a hole, or the edge of a curb. Survey the area so you don’t misstep.

5. Stretch after activity. Get back in the house to cool down, dry off, and stretch out.

Some tips just for shoveling:

1. Pick the right tool. Coal shovels are for coal, snow shovels are for snow. Make sure the shovel handle is long enough that you don’t have to bend over uncomfortably.

2. Push with your legs, don’t lift with your back. Rather than pick up a shovel full of snow, brace the shovel against your body and push it off the sidewalk. Because this is easier, it may be tempting to try and push a large amount at one time. Many smaller loads are easier on your back than one large one. Brace low against your belt line to help avoid back strain. Avoid lifting as often as you can.

3. If it’s icy, use an ice chipping blade first, then shovel.

4. Try to shovel many light layers rather than one heavy layer. If it’s possible, shovel or sweep as it snows. Shoveling two or three light loads is much easier on your back than shoveling one heavy load.

5. Put down salt after you shovel. By doing this any further snow won’t collect as easy, and it gives better traction when you do have to be out, helping you to avoid slipping.

6. If you use a snow blower, ensure the handles are at a comfortable height, allowing you to control the machine without bending over.

7. Go slowly, allow the machine to pull itself through the snow. If it is self-propelled, keep the speed comfortable so that you don’t have to hold it back.