We all know that winter driving can be dangerous. But did you know that there are a number of other ways that to get injured during the winter season. Whether we’re participating in winter sports, completing winter chores or even just walking out doors, there are a lot of opportunities to get hurt once the snow starts falling. The good news is that by taking precautions and being mindful, you can greatly reduce your chances of getting hurt this winter. Here are some quick tips:
- WINTER SPORTS INJURIES: Winter sports are a great way to stay active during the colder months. However, as with all sports, there is always the risk of injury. The best way to minimize this risk is by warming up your muscles, wearing the right equipment and, if you’re outside, paying attention to the weather conditions. Cold muscles are more injury-prone, so doing a short warm up including some light exercises followed by gentle stretching before starting your activity is a great way to reduce the likelihood of injury. In terms of equipment, you may be tempted to forgo a helmet in favour of a warm winter hat when skating, skiing or snowboarding, for example, but that increases the likelihood of getting injured. Instead, consider using thin thermal wear, available through most sporting goods stores, which can be worn under your equipment. Most sporting goods stores should be able to help you out with ideas and equipment. As for the monitoring weather conditions, we all know that weather conditions can change suddenly and drastically. Be sure to check the weather report ahead of time and watch out for snowy or icy conditions as these can greatly increase the risk of injury.
- SHOVELING SNOW: Shoveling snow is a common winter chore that results in injury for a great many people every year. Most often it’s the result of improper technique or poor body mechanics which leads to sprains, strains or worse. The key to avoid injury is to push snow with the shovel rather than lifting and throwing it and twisting your body. Also, remember that shoveling snow is work. With this in mind, it’s important to pave yourself and take breaks whenever you need them. Heart attacks are also fairly common so don’t rush and stop immediately if you experience dizziness, shortness of breath or chest pain. You should also make sure that you wear proper clothing; especially slip-resistant boots.
- SLIPS AND FALLS: Compressed snow, ice and fewer hours of daylight often results in injuries from slips and falls. While there’s nothing we can do about the weather conditions, taking some simple precautions can significantly help to reduce your risk. Wearing proper footwear is one very important precaution. Always make sure that you are wearing boots or shoes that give plenty of support and provide you with an appropriate amount traction. Footwear with neoprene or rubber soles are the best choice. Paying attention to your surrounding is another key precaution. Watch out for ice patches, snow piles and water on the ground that can reduce your traction and result in a slip or fall. If necessary, alter your route to avoid danger. Of course, doing your part by clearing the sidewalk around your home or business is a good way to reduce your risk and the risk to others.
If you need help with a recent or previous winter injury, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Remember, at Physiomed…Healthier Starts Here.