03 Dec 5 Ways to Help Prevent Injury this Winter
As the temperature drops, weather worsens, and people spend more time inside, certain common injuries can occur. One of the most common acute injuries occur from a slip-or-fall incident or lifting accident. Here are five tips to help you prevent injury while still enjoying yourself this winter…
Tidy up Inside: We aren’t saying you should tackle a huge organizational challenge before the holidays; however, if you have an abundance of clutter and trip-hazards throughout your house, it’s time to clear the way. Making sure you have clear, safe walkways in your home is a top priority – especially if you’ve struggled with your balance, or had previous falls. Wrap up electrical cords, move bulky furniture that’s in the way, keep shoes and other odds-and-ends picked up, and consider using motion or light-sensing nightlights in outlets to help you see better.
Pre-treat your walk: This falls into the ‘ounce of prevention’ camp. If you know bad winter weather is coming, pre-treat your porch, sidewalk, drive, front step, or any area likely to receive moisture with an ice-melt material. Even if it can’t compete with a heavy blanket of snow, you’ll have less to clear in the treated areas.
Shovel carefully: If your driveway looks like a snowy, winter wonderland, remove snow carefully. If you’re using a snow shovel, consider purchasing a newer, ‘back-saving’ model, designed to spare your back. Don’t overload your shovel, and lift with your legs, not your back. If you have chronic health conditions or are in poor health, sit this one out and ask someone to help out. If you’re using a snow-blower, many of those are very heavy. Be sure you are able to push the weighty machine, and take breaks as needed. You can also break this task into smaller pieces, by doing a bit at a time, with a shovel or blower.
Dress appropriately: Dress for the weather, including a warm coat, insulated gloves, and a hat if necessary. Be sure to check any footwear you plan to wear outside. If your shoes’ tread is bare, that means you won’t have traction if you need it. Plan to wear winter boots, even if you swap them out for dressier shoes later.
Have fun, safely: We get it, sometimes it’s tempting to try that snowboard your nephew brought sledding; however, injuries during winter often involve a fall. So sled, skate, ski, run, and walk carefully – remembering to wear the right gear and enjoy outdoor fun, safely. Don’t overdo it, and don’t try things your body can’t (or shouldn’t) handle. Just because it looks easy doesn’t mean it is (so save that ice skating spin for the experts)!
If winter injury woes have you feeling blue, it’s time to bring in the Body One PT team! We’re locally owned and operated, with three locations serving Central Indianapolis: North Indy/Carmel, Fishers, and Zionsville. Our talented team of expert PTs works with clients of all ages and activity levels, and we’d love to get you back to feeling great. Don’t let your winter injury leave you miserable, call or click to schedule with the best PT team in Indy!