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Recovered Access to My Health Care Blog WooHoo!

Posted Feb 06 2011 12:00am
It's easy to forget to take care of yourself when you are constantly doing things to care for others. Burnout or caregiver fatigue occurs over time and is important to ward against but I have been thinking more about the recent storms that have ravaged parts of our country and what that can mean to one's health.

Have you been shoveling a lot lately? Have you been moving a lot of snow or doing activities that are unusual for you? We hear about heart attacks that occur with vigorous snow shoveling but there is less said on the news about the damage that can be done to sensitive neck and back nerves and muscles. Our bodies are machines and must be trained to do certain types of work.

There are certain types of work our bodies can not handle but at the time the work is done it is not apparent. Serious damage can be done to the neck that can affect not only the neck but the arms and hands. Signs and symptoms can be pain, numbness and tingling and loss of grip possibly characterized by dropping items. A pinched nerve may heal on it's own or may require anti-inflammatories, traction or the judicious use of physical therapy. Nerve entrapment can become so severe in some cases that surgical decompression could be considered. It depends on how a problem occurs and how dramatic the symptoms are and how they interfere with activities of daily living over time.

Use assistive devices to get things done. It could be a shovel or a snow plow in this case. Think a project through before taking it on. Think before you lift or push or pull. You are only of use to someone if you are healthy. Hurting yourself should not be an acceptable risk. Call or hire help when the job is too big and assess each situation before diving in head first.

There are warning labels on the side of the pool to protect your head and neck but NOT on the snowflakes.

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