NUTLEY, NJ-- For those of you that love New Jersey for it's unique seasons, you are surely getting your fill of winter these past few days.  While sub freezing temperatures are expected to linger into next week, we've somehow managed to avoid the classic Jersey winter storm.  With plenty of time left before spring graces us with its presence it's only a matter of time before we will be digging out our sidewalks and driveways.  We reached out to Dr. Samantha Sammaro, a physical therapist at Pro Staff Physical Therapy in Nutley for some tips on how to shovel without the risk of injury. She was able to provide us with the following;

1. warm up before shoveling, (ie. jumping jacks, heel raises, stretching squats, pushups, etc.)

2. go out in increments to avoid shoveling too much snow at once

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3. use a lightweight shovel that is proper height to avoid undue stress on the lower back

4. use proper body mechanics: keep the load close to the body and in front of you, bend at the hips and knees and lift with the legs

5. push the snow if possible instead of carrying it and avoid throwing the snow over your shoulder or any twisting motions.

Bottom line: warm up, get a proper shovel, take your time, start early, use good form. Pro Staff Institute, located at 265 Franklin Avenue in Nutley, believes in treating their patients, not just their injuries or conditions. Their licensed physical therapists and occupational therapists customize individual therapeutic plans using the latest technology and practices to get their patients back to their everyday lives. They can be reached online at http://prostaffpt.com/ or at 973-661-1207.

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