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  • James Park, PT, DPT

Post Snow-Shoveling Recovery

Well February definitely made its mark by dropping at least 16-18” by us, and more elsewhere in NJ! For those of you who are feeling soreness and stiffness in your forearms, upper and lower back after multiple shoveling trips, some helpful tips:⠀

1. Hydrate💦! Drink enough water to recover what you lost through sweating and the physical exertion of shoveling! If you’re feeling thirsty throughout the day, then you’re not drinking enough.⠀

2. Sufficient sleep for recovery💤! 6-8 hours should be the goal each night, especially after a day of intense physical exertion.⠀

3. Mobility Regimen: here’s a regimen to try out to restore some mobility and reduce the stiffness/soreness:⠀

✅Quadruped Rocking with Forward Lean - lean your body weight forward past your hands to help stretch your forearm flexors while under slight load, then rock backwards onto your rear end to mobilize your low back and hips. Coordinate your breathing to inhale slowly with the forward motion and exhale slowly on the backward motion. Complete for 2 minutes.⠀

✅Quadruped Cat/Cow - move by slowly flexing through your low back and working your way up each spinal segment until you finish at your neck. Then while maintaining this end position, begin the movement from your low back by extending slowly and working your way up to your neck. Alternate these movements continuously for 2 minutes. Inhale slowly with your flexion movement (cat) and exhale slowly with your extension movement (camel).⠀

✅Quadruped Thoracic Rotation with Extended Crossbody Reach - reaching as far as you can under your body by dropping your chest and right shoulder to the ground, before you rotate back as you also drive your elbow back. Inhale slowly with the rotation back, exhale slowly with the reach. Repeat for 1 minute per side.⠀

✅Side lying Thoracic Rotation - let gravity assist you with your rotation toward the floor behind you. Inhale slowly with the rotation back, exhale slowly with the reach. Repeat for 1 minute per side.⠀

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