Lower Back Injuries Most Common during Snow Shoveling

Lower Back Injuries Most Common during Snow Shoveling

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 1:21pm -- jpayseur
Study analyzes emergency department visits over 17 year span from snow shoveling
Snow Shoveling Injuries Image

In the first long-term study of snow shovel-related emergency department visits, injuries to the lower back were found to be the most common place of injury. Over the course of 17 years of emergency department records 195,100 individuals were treated for incidents involving snow shoveling (11,500 per year). For the United States population, this comes to 4.15 cases per 100,000 people per year.

Further analysis in the study reported 67.5 percent of the incidents happened to males. 15.3 percent occurred to people younger than eighteen years old and 21.8 percent in people age 55 years and older. The lower back was the most commonly injured area of the body, representing 34.3 percent of all incidents. The most common cause of injury was musculoskeletal exertion (53.9%), followed by slip and fall (20%), and struck by shovel (15%). Cardiac-related visits accounted for 6.7 percent of emergency department visits. 5.8 percent of the incidents required hospitalization and less than one (0.84) percent resulted in death.

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