“Falling” for Winter Weather

Winter is rapidly approaching and with that comes snow, ice, and rain, as well as a higher likelihood of slipping and falling. Streets and sidewalks become covered and treacherous, making a short trip to the mailbox or bus stop a potential disaster. Many injuries can occur due to Winter-related fall accidents. The most common potential injuries that can occur include the following:

  • Bruises
  • Head or brain injuries
  • Ankle strains and twists, along with other types of muscle sprains and ligament strains
  • Broken bones, mainly hip, and wrist fractures
  • Back injuries including spinal compression fractures
  • Spinal cord injuries

Winter can bring lots of joy to many people, especially those who enjoy outdoor activities and sports. There are many sports and activities you can do with friends and family, such as sledding, ice hockey, ice skating, skiing, and snowboarding. However, these winter activities can be risky, posing a threat to many falls and leading to a variety of different injuries. A few of these injuries can include, but not limited to, broken bones, stiff muscles, neck pain and tension, and knee joint pain and soreness.

Who is most affected?

Anyone is susceptible to falling or slipping on snow or ice; however, there are certain age groups and demographics who may be affected more.

  • Children do not always have the best balance and can easily fall and injure themselves in whatever they are doing. They particularly like sledding which can put them at risk for injury.
  • Seniors can very easily lose their footing resulting in a fall. This can exacerbate or further damage any previous injury they may have experienced to their hips or back.
  • Adults with previous medical conditions such as back, neck, or shoulder injuries, could also further damage any past injuries. In addition, adults who are susceptible to osteoporosis also have a high risk of receiving broken or fractured bones if they experienced a fall.
  • Active adults who continue to remain active during winter have a higher risk for injuries if they do not take proper safety precautions. Without proper equipment, they are at risk for head, neck, shoulder, knee, and ankle injuries.

Preventative Measures

It is important to take preventative measures during the winter in order to avoid an injury caused by a slip or fall. The following are tips you and your family can take in order to steer clear of any injuries and to stay safe this winter.

  • Wear footwear that is made for icy and snowy conditions. It should be made for comfort and high traction.
  • Keep your stride short and walk with small, precise steps.
  • Do not make any sudden changes in your direction while walking.
  • Slow down and try not to rush or run.
  • Try to keep your hands out of your coat pockets. You may need them to break a fall.
  • Make sure you have sand and de-icer on hand to use around your house.
  • Always have your cell phone in case an injury does occur.
  • Keep your sidewalks and driveways shoveled.
  • Take your time doing outdoor chores.

Unfortunately, accidents do happen even if you are being cautious and following the best preventative measures. If you find yourself or a loved one in pain after a slip or fall, contact North County Pain Relief at (314) 731-4201. Our well-trained chiropractors can help educate you on your injury and create a customized care plan to make sure you start feeling better in no time.