Winter is a wonderful time of year. Some people think of building snowmen, playing hockey and cozying up next to the fireplace. Others think of shoveling snow, slipping on the ice and injuring themselves. Quite a few would agree with the latter statement.
It is estimated that 116,000 people are injured due to winter-related injuries every year in the U.S. 1,300 are killed because of snowy or icy roads annually. With winter just around the corner, it is time to think about winter accident prevention.
1. Ankle and Knee Injuries
Things like skiing, snowboarding or just trying to clear your driveway of heavy snow can lead to knee or ankle injuries. A torn ACL can lead to surgery, physical therapy and months of pain. Always wear the proper gear and stretch and warm up the joints before starting tasks.
2. Frostbite Is Not Your Friend
Frostbite is literally the freezing of the skin and tissues underneath. Mostly it occurs in the fingers and toes but can affect the face, nose and other areas also. Prevention is easy - limit outside exposure during abnormally cold weather. If you start to feel tingling, numbness or hard and red skin in those areas it is time to take a break and move into a dry and warm area.
3. The Slippery Slope Less Traveled
Falls are considered to be the leading cause of injuries in the wintertime or any other. Anyone who has ever slipped on ice has probably experienced lower back pain, even though they might not have actually fallen. Wear proper winter footwear and seek medical attention if you hurt your back or fall.
4. Wrist and Shoulder Injuries
Wrist and shoulder injuries mostly happen in the winter due to self-protection measures when trying to prevent a fall. They also occur during activities such as winter sports or shoveling snow. Have fun but be aware of your skill level when playing sports. Remember that snow is heavier than you might think so be extra careful when clearing it away.
Even when doing all you can to prevent winter accidents, sometimes the inevitable happens. If you experience wrenching of the spine or any type of winter-related injury, contacting the professionals at Mid Atlantic Orthopedic will put you on the path to receiving proper treatment. Just knowing you are in the care of true professionals will make you feel safer this winter.