New locally-produced shovel can help conquer a back-breaking win - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

New locally-produced shovel can help conquer a back-breaking winter

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There really hasn't been any major snowfall so far this season here in western Massachusetts.

Our largest storm was under five inches, but any amount of winter white can be back breaking. 

Ralph Thresher of Westfield, a local engineer turned inventor, has 'got your back' when it comes to snow shoveling.

Nearly 10 years from his first bent handle design, his patent-pending Ergie-stick shovel is made in Westfield.

"I saw a little old lady shoveling snow one day and I just shook my head and said there's got to be a better way. The big bent handle shovels, I tried them myself and wasn't happy with them," Thresher explained.

Thresher is the inventor of the ErgieShovel.  Westfield Plastics and Molding has some new workers who are making this unique snow shovel. 

Moridior, a special needs worker, said that he's having the time of his life building a great shovel and Nabil "Bill" Hannoush looks to invest in start-ups, especially ones that can help people stay healthy.

"I decided to invest in Ralph who was building them out of his garage," Hannoush explained.

Jeff Soley, a local chiropractor with offices in Northampton and Westfield, has patients visit after snowstorms that need help because they shoveled snow and likely did it the wrong way.

"What happens when people shovel [is] instead of bending at the knees, they actually bend from the lower back, putting additional stressors on the discs where the discs aren't supposed to be bearing the weight," Soley said.

Using pro-adjuster computer software for a gentle approach to correcting the spine, along with laser therapy to speed up the healing of tissue, Dr. Soley finds where the joints are not moving well, nerves are irritated, or muscles are in spasm, and improves the function to the area.

This translates to symptom improvement and improved muscle strength as well.

Dr. Soley recommended warming up before shoveling and of course bending at the knees instead of bending one's spine. There's lots of preventative measures one can take in order to avoid the pain of shoveling the winter white.

Either way, the right tool or doctor can help you weather the winter - hopefully pain-free. 

For more information on shoveling safety, you can CLICK HERE to visit the website of the American Academy of Orthpaedic Surgeons.

Copyright 2016 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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