Ocean Physician Offers Tips For Snow, Winter Weather Safety

Contact:Donna Sellmann

Ocean Physician Offers Tips For Snow, Winter Weather Safety

Avoid the Aches and Pains of Shoveling

Having felt the blow of the first major snow storm of the season, it's important to be careful when tackling the piles of snow and layers of ice that are left behind. All too often, physicians see the effects of snow-related mishaps when patients have experienced falls, slips and strains.

David Rodricks, M.D., a board certified orthopedic surgeon at Ocean Medical Center, offers the following tips to maintain safety and wellness as we deal with the season's first snowfall.

.Dress appropriately - Wear layers to maintain body heat and wear sturdy boots that provide adequate traction. .Warm up - Shoveling is a workout, so take a few minutes to stretch and warm up before you head outdoors. .Use the right equipment - If available, use an ergonomic shovel; it's gentler on your back than traditional models. .Use your knees - Don't overstrain your back by bending and twisting. Bend at the knees to reach the snow and turn your whole body to throw the snow. .Switch hands - Periodically switch hands so you distribute the workout and don't overstrain one side of your body. .Don't over do it - Shovel the snow in moderation. Do a little at a time and take frequent breaks so you don't overstrain your body, or risk overexposure to the cold. .Use caution - If using a snow blower, never put your hands near the blades, even if the equipment is turned off. .Be aware - Once the snow is clear, there may be a new hazard with icy patches. Slow down and watch where you're walking. Be especially careful in parking lots, when you're getting out of the car, and when using stairs. Use handrails whenever possible.

Dr. Rodricks stresses the importance of listening to your body when engaging in strenuous activity such as shoveling snow. If you experience shortness of breath, severe discomfort, or pain, seek medical attention immediately. Ocean Medical Center offers emergency services at the main hospital in Brick, as well as at its satellite emergency department - the Ocean Care Center - in Point Pleasant. Individuals who may experience non-emergent aches or pains and require medical evaluation should consult their doctor, or can call Ocean Medical Center's free physician referral service to find a doctor or specialist at 1-800-DOCTORS or visit www.OceanMedicalCenter.com.

Ocean Medical Center, a member of the Meridian Health family, is a 281-bed non-profit community hospital located in Brick New Jersey, providing health care programs and services in all major medical disciplines, including maternity; oncology; orthopedics and rehabilitation; general, neurological, thoracic, and vascular surgery; cardiology; dialysis; and emergency and critical care services. The Medical Center features Magnet award winning nurses and is a proud affiliate of University of Pennsylvania Cancer Network. Ocean Medical Center also operates the state's first Satellite Emergency Department in Point Pleasant, called the Ocean Care Center. For more information, call the Meridian Health Line at 1-800-560-9990 or log on to our web site at www.OceanMedicalCenter.com.