Winter is the season of seasons. It’s the holiday season, cold and flu season, ski season, hockey season, and if you’re a chiropractor, slip and fall season.
As soon as freezing temperatures begin to creep in and we have to maneuver through an obstacle course of ice, snow, and water just to get to the car, the number of slip and fall injuries showing up in the ER goes through the roof.
When we fall, we do our best to stop it, twisting or putting our arms out to brace ourselves, which often compounds the injury. It’s no wonder so many injuries can occur from one simple fall.
Injuries from a slip and fall can include:
Broken bones most often occur in the arms, hands, and wrists when you try to brace yourself. As we age, we become more prone to broken bones of the hip during a fall.
It’s common to twist a knee during a fall which can cause longterm damage to your ACL or MCL, ligaments around the knee. You could also dislocate your patella, or kneecap, or even break it if you land on your knees so they take the brunt of the impact.
Breaking your fall with your hands is an automatic response and often results in sprained wrists or you can easily sprain an ankle tripping over an object.
If you hit your shoulder in the fall, you could dislocate it which is when your arm bone pops out of its socket. It can be extremely painful but may only need to be popped back into place, although in more extreme cases, it may require surgery.
Spine and nerve damage
Falling can cause vertebrae to be knocked out of alignment. These subluxations can cause nerve damage and “pinched” nerves that can be painful and cause problems in the nervous system.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A brain injury can happen two ways in a fall. You could hit your head on the ground or an object or you could manage to not hit your head but the violent movement causes your brain to hit the inside of your skull causing a concussion.
The way to prevent slip and fall injuries is simple: Don’t slip and fall.
- Keep your hands out of your pockets. You have better balance with your arms and hands free so wear warm gloves or mittens. You may also be able to brace yourself when you fall. Sure, you might sprain your wrist but it can prevent something more serious like a brain injury.
- Wear the right footwear. Boots with a good rubber tread are best. You can also buy ice grips that slip over most shoes will give them added traction. If you’re inclined to wear heels, bring them along and change into them when you arrive.
- Always walk slowly over ice or snow. Don’t run!
- Avoid carrying things that are heavy or bulky that may obstruct your view.
- Use handrails, walls, your car―anything you can hold onto to steady yourself as you walk on icy or snowy surfaces.
- Use a boot tray. Just because you’re inside, it doesn’t mean you’re safe from a slip and fall injury. Snow gets tracked inside and melts, leaving hazardous puddles. Keep snowy boots on a boot tray by the door and brush the snow off your clothes before you come inside.
- Be alert. The main thing you can do to prevent slips and falls is to be alert to your surroundings and aware of potential dangers. Try to avoid poorly lit areas where it’s more difficult to see the ice and don’t assume that because an area has been cleared of snow or deiced that it’s not slippery.
If you’ve fallen and sustained an injury from a slip and fall, North County Pain Relief can help. We not only treat misalignments of the spine, but we also can relieve pain associated with other slip and fall injuries and can prevent it from becoming a chronic problem. Dr. Adam Elsey will diagnose any problem you may have as a result of your fall and come up with a comprehensive treatment plan that will help relieve your pain and restore your mobility. Slips and falls can happen anywhere, especially during the current season of seasons. Our professional staff will help you with any documentation you need to file a claim to help pay for your treatment. Call North County Pain Relief today at (314)731-4201.