The colder months of winter have begun, which brings a new set of challenges to prepare yourself for, so you can enjoy the season without injuries. Whether it be from slipping on ice or injuring yourself while participating in your favorite winter sport, wintertime injuries can be severe and cause chronic pain and stiffness. Take these precautionary tips into consideration.

Prevent Slips and Falls

  • Start by choosing the right shoe. A pair with plenty of traction on the soles is a good choice for walking on ice-covered ground.
  • Walk slow and like a penguin. Take short steps and walk as flat-footed as possible on icy or slippery ground.
  • Keep your hands free. You’ll need them to help you balance, so avoid carrying heavy loads and keep those hands out of your pockets.
  • Remove snow and ice from walkways frequently by applying ice melt and ask for help if you need it.
  • Keep your cell phone with you. Even if it’s just on a trip to the mailbox, bring it.  In the event that a fall does occur, you may need it to call someone for help.

Prevent Snow Shoveling Injuries

  • Stretch before shoveling the snow. It can be quite the workout and should be treated as such, so stretch to loosen up those muscles ahead of time.
  • Use an ergonomic shovel. A light shovel with a longer pole will help you bend less and prevent a sore back.
  • Use proper posture. Always keep your spine neutral. Bend at the knees instead of the waist and never twist your body.
  • Take frequent breaks. Remember to switch up your arms to prevent fatigue and stiffness in your shoulders.

Prevent Winter Sports Injuries

  • Start the season off slow. You can’t go in with 100% effort if you’ve been sedentary for most of the year. Proper conditioning is key to staying healthy and injury-free.
  • Take lessons if you are new to a sport. You’ll learn proper technique and is your best bet for staying injury-free while you’re learning.
  • Check to make sure all of your equipment is in good shape and is working properly.
  • Always take the time to do a proper warm up.
  • Listen to your body. Overuse injuries are very common with any sport. If your body is telling you to rest, please listen to it.

Enjoy the season but give yourself plenty of time to slow down and use precaution. If you do fall victim to a winter-related injury, count on our office to help get you back on your feet quickly.