6 Tips to Avoid Winter Injuries
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 million U.S. adults are injured due to slips and falls every year. As we settle in for the last few months of winter, now is a great time to remind ourselves of a few strategies to help prevent falls and minimize our risk of injury while navigating snowy driveways and icy parking lots.
Living in Colorado provides us with our fair share of snow storms, some predictable, some unpredictable. When shoveling snow it is first and foremost important to ensure that you are wearing the appropriate footwear to minimize the risk of falling, a sturdy hiking boot or snow boot with good traction is our first choice. To minimize the risk of injury to your back, pay close attention to keeping your body square to the snow you are shoveling. Excessive twisting with a full shovel of snow can increase the risk for back injury and falls.
Walking on snow and ice
Slick driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, etc. are a common occurrence during the winter months and pose an increased risk for falls and subsequent injuries. When walking outside in wintery conditions our first line of defense should be a visual survey of the path we are preparing to take, and if possible, choosing to take the long way around to avoid the danger.
Practice walking like a penguin. You can extend your arms for balance, and turn your feet out slightly. If you walk at a slower pace (almost a “waddle”), it helps you maintain your center of gravity and decreases your risk of falling.
As springtime nears, the desire, and need, for spring cleaning is upon us. During this time, it is important to remember proper lifting mechanics in order to decrease the risk of back injuries. When picking up a heavy object, first square your body to the object being lifted. Bend at your knees, not your back, as you squat down to grasp the object. As you lift, tighten your core and drive up through your hips, maintaining a square position to the object and keeping it close to your body. Avoiding twisting motions and quick movements will also minimize your risk of back injury.
At Panorama Physical Therapy we specialize in all types of orthopedic diagnoses and have a team of physical therapists trained to assist patients in improving their strength, balance, and overall tolerance and safety with functional activities. Should you feel as though you could benefit from physical therapy for an old back injury or exercises to improve your balance and minimize your risk for falling please reach out to any of our physical therapy locations across the metro area.Learn About Physical Therapy