As the colder temperatures and snowy weather begin to set in, it’s time once again to talk about personal injury prevention in the winter. All homeowners should take steps to ensure that walkways and driveways are prepped for injury prevention, and everyone should take proper precautions with their outerwear and their situational awareness, even for brief outdoor walks.
After all, winter weather-related injuries are no joke. Even simple slip and fall injuries can require months of painful recovery, and most potential winter injuries are easily preventable with some forethought and planning. Here are the best ways to prevent injuries in winter.
Dealing with Ice
Ice is described as treacherous for a reason. You think you are looking at a puddle only to discover it's a sheet of ice on the sidewalk and the next thing you know you are on your back staring up at the sky and cursing the winter weather. If your fall is severe enough, you may even be dealing with a concussion or potential traumatic brain injury, to say nothing of spine or knee-related injuries. Here’s what to do to prevent ice-related injuries:
- Wear shoes or boots that are designed for walking on ice and snow.
- Take short strides and avoid taking longer steps if you don’t have to.
- Keep your pace slow and don’t be in a rush to get in or out of doors.
- Use de-icer or sand on the walkways around your home to prevent large sheets of ice from forming.
- Don’t rush any outdoor chores you have to attend to.
The physical exertion of shoveling snow and the tedious nature of the task is the reason that snow blowers and other snow removal machinery remain popular to this day. What creates such a serious injury risk when shoveling snow is the repetitive lifting and twisting motion. Strained and pulled muscles in the back, neck, and shoulders are extremely common, and there are over 11,000 emergency room visits a year for lower back injuries caused by shoveling snow.
Be sure to lift with your knees and avoid extended twisting or jerking while clearing your walkways and driveway with a snow shovel. Alternatively, if you are older, you may want to consider using a local snow removal service or using a snow blower instead.
Want to know more about winter injury prevention? Have you suffered an injury from a winter-related accident like slipping on ice or shoveling snow? Contact the winter injury experts at Mid-Atlantic Orthopedic Associates today to set up a consultation about treatment and recovery options. Our team of orthopedic specialists has years of experience treating winter-weather related injuries, and we can help you get back on track again.