Is the forecast calling for snow? Hallmark Health System (HHS), which includes Lawrence Memorial of Medford and Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, has you covered with tips to avoid injury when clearing snow from your walkways, driveways and cars.

Back injuries are most common when it comes to shoveling snow. Our rehabilitation and physical therapy experts recommend using your legs, not your back, when lifting snow and rotating instead of twisting your body. Following these steps can help you reduce your chances for sustaining a back injury.

If the weather is calling for a drawn out storm over several hours or even days, try to stay ahead of the snowfall by making sure you don’t let the snow on your property get above for 4 inches. Also, whenever possible it’s advisable to shovel during the day when temperatures are at their warmest.

With snow and ice, the risk for falls is also very high and can lead to injury. Make sure to wear appropriate footwear including boots and shoes with rubber soles when you go outside to shovel. Products that fit over your shoes and increase traction on snow and ice can also be purchased.

If you have the means, hire a company or someone in your neighborhood to do the shoveling for you. That way you can avoid the elements and possible injuries all together.

If you do hurt yourself, it is important you stop what you are doing immediately. If pain and discomfort do not subside you should call your primary care physician who can refer you to HHS Rehabilitation Services. With convenient locations in Medford, Melrose, Stoneham and Reading, our highly trained and dedicated physical therapists provide in-depth individualized evaluations and treatment plans. This includes therapeutic exercise programs, ambulation training, transfer training, balance and coordination programs, joint and soft tissue mobilization and modalities to get patients back to previous levels of function. 

For more information about HHS, visit or follow us on Twitter at 


Hallmark Health System is the premier, charitable provider of vital health services to Boston's northern communities. The system includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford; Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, Melrose; Hallmark Health Hematology and Oncology Center, Stoneham; The CHEM Center for MRI, Stoneham; Hallmark Health Medical Center, Reading; Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice; Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing and Radiography Programs, Medford and Hallmark Health Medical Associates, Inc. Hallmark Health System is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital for cardiology and Tufts Medical Center for neonatology and the Joslin Diabetes Center for diabetes care.



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