Preventing Winter Weather Injuries

Winter can be a dangerous time of year. Freezing temperatures, white-out blizzards, treacherous driving conditions, and the ever-present risk of slips and falls on ice. While there is plenty of fun to be had in a snow-covered winter wonderland, you should always take extra precautions to avoid winter-related accidents and hazards.

Unless you plan to hibernate for the winter, there’s really no way to avoid stepping foot outdoors. Since slips and falls are common reasons for injury during these frigid months, here are a few tips to help you stay on two feet:

  1. Step Lightly Take short, deliberate steps, especially in icy or snowy conditions.
  2. Wear Proper Footwear – Opt for sturdy, slip-resistant rubber treads to maintain good traction, and a waterproof exterior to keep your feet warm and dry.
  3. Maintain balance – Keep arms free when walking to maintain your balance on unsteady surfaces. If you need to carry groceries from your car to your home, be sure you step slowly and carefully.
  4. Exit vehicles carefully – Many slips and falls happen when exiting your vehicle. Make sure you have solid footing when exiting your car, and hold on to the door for balance if necessary.

Shoveling is another wintertime activity (let’s be honest – chore) that can be hazardous. Besides the risk for slips and falls, shoveling can be hard on the back. Here’s what you can do to make this task friendlier on your back and core:

  1. Pace Yourself – Shoveling should not be a race. Take your time and be sure to give yourself plenty of breaks.
  2. Push, Don’t Lift – While you may feel the urge to lift and toss the snow load at the end of your shovel, try just pushing it instead. Eliminating the lifting and twisting movements will lessen the risk of throwing out your back.
  3. Lighten the Load – If you have to lift the snow, don’t overdo it. Smaller loads are easier on your back and muscles.
  4. Use an Ergonomic Shovel – Purchase a shovel designed to help reduce the strain on your upper body while clearing snow.

If you find yourself dealing with any winter related injuries, chiropractic treatment can help! Benningfield & Associates Chiropractic Rehabilitation Center can help determine the best care plan for your care and recovery. Contact us to learn more about our services and to discuss a treatment plan that will support your healing and improve your life.