Living in Missouri, we all know the weather is unpredictable. Some winters are very mild with little precipitation while other winters can bring on major storms dropping inches, sometimes feet, of snow. With this severe weather brings the potential for serious injuries. It is important to be aware of these risks and steps you can take to prevent them.
Falling on slick or icy surfaces is one of the most common causes of injury in the winter. These falls can result in wrist or hip fractures or head injuries. Following these tips can help prevent these fall injuries:
. Stay inside until roads and sidewalks have been cleared
. Apply salt to sidewalks and driveways
. Take your time when walking on slick surfaces with short, slow steps
. Wear warm insulated footwear with good rubber tread for traction
Shoveling snow poses another serious risk for injury this winter season. Soft tissue injuries, especially to the lower back, are common due to the lifting, bending, and twisting. Heart problems are also a common occurrence when shoveling. People who already have a heart condition or those over the age of 55 are at an increased risk. Decrease your chance of injury while shoveling snow by:
. Pacing yourself and taking frequent breaks
. Remove snow early and often rather than trying to do it all at once
. Wear appropriate, slip-resistant boots
.Try pushing the snow versus lifting, twisting, or throwing it
. Listen to your body—stop immediately if you get short of breath, start sweating profusely, or have chest pain
. Dress warm. This will keep your muscles warm and help prevent strain or tension
Wishing you a healthy and injury-free winter season!
Advance Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine 636-528-7333