Archive for February, 2010

Prevent Low Back Pain from Shoveling Snow

Shoveling snow often creates low back pain, leg and shoulder soreness and, at times, neck pain this time of year, especially when the snow is heavy and deep.  To avoid such injuries, shovel with the knees bent and back straight AND alternate the side the shovel is held.  Take breaks often by standing and leaning backward gently and rehydrate with fluids to prevent dehydration. 

It is biomechanically safer to, first, push the snow forward, with two hands on the shovel’s handle, while standing erect.  Then, after a row of accumulated snow is formed, bend at the knees to pick up the white stuff alternating the side the shovel is held every ten scoops.  This minimises forward bending, allows each sides of the body to work equally and reduce the chances of injury.  

Often, we start shoveling with the shovel on the most-favorable side and keep it there for the duration of the job.  The best way to change this habit is to START shoveling on the LESS-FAVORED side.  Remembered to switch sides every ten scoops thereafter. 

Hot epsom salt baths are effective after shoveling, as long as the body is not chilled afterward and shoveling does not resume for several hours.  Stir one cup of the salts, found in supermarkets and pharmacies, into dilution, then lay supine with knees bend for ten minutes in the tub.

If you have any questions about this article or the others at Mark.Saracino1@juno.com.www.DrSaracino.com,  “Health Information” link, email

The Truth About Taking Vitamins

Although countless research articles have been published and nearly everyone has consumed vitamin products at some point during their lives, there are still quite a few misconceptions regarding vitamins, particularly vitamins in supplemental form. Here are a few of the common myths and truths about vitamins so you can make more informed decisions when it comes to your health.

Myth: The more vitamins you take, the healthier you’ll be.

Truth: We’ve been convinced, primarily through media-fostered misinformation, that mega-doses of vitamins are necessary for health. However, research has shown just the opposite is true. Since most supplements are colloidal (large molecule), synthetic, and contain inorganic elements, binders and fillers, most of the health benefits are lost or cannot be utilized properly.

Myth: If you take a daily multivitamin, you don’t need to worry about what you eat.

Truth: Vitamins cannot function without the energy generated from complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lean sources of protein. Therefore, it is important to consume a variety of foods that supply energy and vitamins naturally. If deficiencies exist, additional supplements in the right form and combination can compensate for these deficiencies.

Myth: If you take vitamins regularly, you don’t need to exercise.

This is an excerpt from my monthly free newsletter which you can register for at the “Free Newsletter” link at http://www.DrSaracino.com.


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