Shoveling heavy amounts of snow can cause injuries and even deat - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Shoveling heavy amounts of snow can cause injuries and even death


Eau Claire (WQOW)- The spring storm dumped almost a foot of snow, leaving residents with the task of shoveling, but shoveling that heavy snow can leave to injuries and even death. 

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office said a man shoveling snow over the weekend collapsed and died.

The medical examiner said he died of heart failure after shoveling. 

We reached out to area hospitals to see if there were any shoveling-related visits. At HSHS Sacred Heart, officials said there was one heart attack due to shoveling and another person was injured from falling on ice this winter.

One Eau Claire resident we spoke with said she's just one scoop away from death. 

"Hernias don't heal. I had two on this side and two on this side and you have to be careful. If this one ever breaks for me again, there's nothing they can do for me, I'll just die," said Tomczack.

Locally, the medical problem seen most in Eau Claire is back issues associated with shoveling. 

For those who are shoveling their entire driveway and sidewalk, Dr. Jennifer Gonstead, an Eau Claire chiropractor, said it's important to shovel with your legs and not your back to avoid injuries. 

"When we get snowfalls like we've gotten in the last couple snowfalls where there's many inches, making sure that you are doing that in layers or doing a little bit at a time - don't try and do the whole thing at once. If the low back is starting to bother you, that's your body's way of saying go sit down and take a break and come back to it," said Gonstead.

Gonstead said it's important to see your doctor when your back first starts feeling bad, so it can begin to heal rather than waiting it out.

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