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How to Avoid Common Winter Injuries

Winter is on its way, and in addition to holidays, it also brings an increased risk for certain types of injuries. By using caution, however, you may be able to reduce your risk of injury this winter. Keep reading to learn more. 

Slips and Falls on Ice and Snow

Slips and falls on ice or snow can lead to bruises, sprains, muscle strains, whiplash, skin lacerations, or even broken bones or concussions. Avoid walking on icy or snow-covered surfaces whenever possible, wear sturdy shoes, and pay attention when walking outside (put those phones away). Take smaller steps than you normally would, keeping your weight evenly distributed between both feet. 

If a fall does occur, there are ways you minimize your risk of injury. Here are a few tips for falling more safely, according to AARP:

  • Keep your knees and elbows bent
  • Protect your head
  • Try to land on your back, bottom, or thighs (avoid bracing yourself with extended arms)
  • Try to roll with the fall instead of trying to stop your body as quickly as possible

Strains and Sprains From Shoveling

Shoveling snow, cleaning off your car, or even operating a snowblower can place a lot of stress on the body. These tasks can cause muscle strains, herniated discs, frostbite, or even heart attacks in extreme cases.

Shovel safely by stretching and warming up first, wearing appropriate clothing, and taking breaks. During periods of heavy snowfall, shovel frequently (before snow accumulates and becomes more difficult to remove). Consider paying someone to shovel your drive and walkway. 

Falls Off Ladders

People might use ladders in the winter when hanging decorations and lighting, which is why falls from ladders become more common toward the end of the year. Avoid this potentially dangerous accident by understanding basic ladder safety, getting help, and never hanging lights alone. This is another task that you may be able to outsource – some landscape companies offer light-hanging services. 

Auto Accident Injuries

The risk of car crashes increases in the winter due to inclement weather, and even minor fender benders can lead to injuries like whiplash, shoulder strains or dislocations, and back pain. Stay safer on the road this season by thoroughly clearing snow and ice off your car, maintaining the speed limit, maintaining a safe following distance, and paying close attention to the road. If it helps, give yourself extra time in your commute so you’ll be less tempted to rush!

Preparing for a Festive and Healthy Holiday?

If you’re struggling to recover from an injury, we can help. Our pain management specialists and physical therapists work together to find the best solution for every patient. Contact us now to schedule an appointment: (317) 706-7246.

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