March 2012 
The Pain Center |  Live More Comfortably  |  eNewsletter Header
We hope this note finds you continuing to do well and living your valued life. The article below, by Mark DeKraker, the Pain Center's occupational therapist, can help you maximize your ability to function.
Snow Shoveling Safety


  While we have missed much of the anticipated snowfall so far this winter, living in Michigan means we could still make up for the low snowfall at any time.

  • Dress warmly to maintain core temperature and reduce the risk of cardiac events
  • Pace the activity appropriately; rest frequently...and perform the stretches your physical therapist has taught you to use for symptom control
  • Use good technique: 
    • Weight shift when you go to load the shovel
    • Use the partial squat when you lift the shovel
    • Hold lower onto the handle to make the load feel lighter by controlling leverage
    • Minimize twisting by keeping your body squared away to the activity:
      • If you toss the snow to the front or side, pick up your back heel
      • Use a full pivot step and then move closer to where you are putting the snow to minimize how far you are trying to toss the snow
  • Using a snow blower:
    • Stay upright in your movement
    • Do not bend to hold the handles
    • If using a self propelled blower with multiple drive settings, stay at a lower speed to maintain better control
    • When making a turn with any snow blower be careful not to twist:
      • Keep your stomach tight
      • Take smaller steps, so that you can keep your body square to the blower
      • Pace, pace, pace...don't be in a hurry
  • Be safe and enjoy being active and outside!


News & Updates


discussing the importance of focusing on valued living while in pain and one of our graduate successes (from the WGVU Morning Show with Shelly Irwin).



More than the programs ...
At The Pain Center, all of our doctor's and therapists see patients outside of the programs. If you have a new injury, significant stressor, severe pain flare-up or need to adjust your home exercise program - come back to the team that you trust. We're happy to help.


Have a question about a flare up?
You are still a part of The Pain Center family. If you ever have a question, please give us a call at 616.233.3480 and we'd be happy to answer it.



Nicole DeHaan, PT
Physical Therapist 
The Pain Center at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital
In This Issue
Snow Shoveling Safety
News & Upates
Visit The Pain Center Web Site