Heart attack is one of the most deadly complications of shoveling snow. Approximately 100 people die of heart attacks while snow shoveling in the US every winter. The combination of forceful exertion while lifting and pushing snow can raise blood pressure and cause the heart to pump faster while the cold temperatures make your blood vessels constrict. That combination makes it harder for your heart to do its job particularly if you already have heart disease.
Hypothermia or low body temperature often occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat while shoveling. Your body only needs to drop a couple of degrees to put you in serious jeopardy.
Hyperthermia or high body temperature is possible if you overexert yourself and built up too much heat in heavy clothes while snow shoveling.
Anyone with a chronic breathing issue such as asthma or emphysema, should be cautious while shoveling snow because the cold air plus the exercise can trigger an attack.
Another common injury of snow shoveling is back injury. Snow is heavy and the repetitive motion of moving snow can cause pain, muscle strain or even a slipped disk.
If you injure yourself while shoveling, schedule an appointment. A good neuromuscular massage can ease the pain.