As the battered town begins to emerge after the storm, health concerns come to the forefront.
Now that 2011 has officially begun, the Asbury Park Press is reporting that Neptune Township’s first order of business is to conduct a review of the area’s response to the recent blizzard. While many Monmouth County residents waited, trapped in their homes for days, few towns were as badly in need of help as Neptune, Asbury Park, and Ocean Grove. As recently as Friday—five days after the storm—there were still many impassable roads.
Neptune experienced nearly three feet of snow within a 12-hour period. My biggest concerns for all residents this winter center on the health risks associated not only with snow removal, but also for those trapped in their homes. The Asbury Park Press reported that many residents were shoveling out their streets themselves after waiting days for a snowplow. In one case, a group set out to clear a path along their street due to concerns for an elderly neighbor as well as a sick infant in that area. This group of men included several who were in their 50s and 60s.
In addition to multiple back injuries that can occur when shoveling snow, I think it’s important to note that there is an increased risk of heart attack when shoveling snow. This may be due to the sudden increase in heart rate and blood pressure, or to the unaccustomed strain that is suddenly placed on bodies that are not normally active.
There are some steps you can take to ensure your health during snow removal. Let’s take a look at some of those:
- Maintain the health of your heart through regular exercise. Our physical therapy department is prepared to help overweight clients not only to lose weight, but to learn how to exercise safely and effectively. Quitting smoking is another way to ensure the health of your heart; our office provides a highly successful smoking cessation program.
- Learn the best techniques for safe snow removal to reduce strain on your body and prevent back pain and injury. Some of these tips include choosing the proper shovel and remembering to lift with your legs (not your back), to bend at the knees and be mindful of maintaining good posture. Click here for a more comprehensive list of safety recommendations.
- Stop ignoring other painful conditions which can become exacerbated with the strain of shoveling snow. Neck pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, sciatica—even headaches—can be worsened with the extreme exertion required to clear snow. For Neptune pain management, our office offers medical care, physical therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic treatment.
In the meantime, Neptune officials will be seeking ways to ensure that a crisis of this magnitude does not occur again. The township cites two main causes for the breakdown in its response: the fact that quite so much snow fell in such a short period of time (12 hours) coupled with an insufficient number of plows. With over 20 snowplows and two large front-end loaders, the town has been able to respond sufficiently to past snowstorms. This particular storm, however, was a nearly unprecedented event in the town’s history.
Be sure to protect your health this winter. For weight loss or to help you quit smoking, we are prepared to offer integrated programs of care that may include all of the modalities we offer: non-surgical medical care, physical therapy, chiropractic, and acupuncture. It’s important to note that acupuncture can also play a role in lowering blood pressure and relaxing the body. For any of these services, or for rehabilitation and pain management in Neptune, NJ, feel free to contact our office.