One glimpse out the frosted window and you know any ventures outdoors have already leveled up on the danger scale. The seemingly simple undertakings of clearing the walk or going to the corner market now have a new element of peril. You pile on the layers of long underwear, scarves, hats and gloves until you feel as padded as a marshmallow and head out to brave the elements. There are a few things you need to know before you face the winter challenge head-on because you don’t want to be taken down by two of the most common winter injuries – dislocations and broken bones.
Any venture into the bitter cold of winter should begin with adequate resources. The most obvious may be sufficient clothing to stave off the chill. When it comes to preventing slip and fall injuries however, there are others that are just as important.
- Time – give yourself enough extra time to get where you’re going so you don’t feel rushed. Hurrying along and slipping on an icy patch is one sure way to fall and either break a bone or dislocate a joint.
- Shoes that have a gripping sole – a smooth soled shoe is much more likely to just slide right across the snow and ice than one with a rough tread. If you need a more polished look at your destination, wear the sensible shoes and change into the statement-makers when you get there.
- Doctor recommended equipment – for individuals with previous injuries and those with a high birthday candle count, a walker or cane may be recommended. These devices are often left behind because of perceived stigma, but it’s better to get where you’re going safely than land back in the doctor’s office.
Practice in Action
In the times between heading out into the winter wonderland, you can improve your steadiness with some simple activities. Exercises that improve your balance are perhaps the most useful. We often don’t realize how poor our balance is until the arms are flailing and then you’re flat on your back. Also, recent advances in phone technology have introduced apps that can analyze your gait and offer suggestions for improvement.
If you do find yourself with a broken bone or dislocation for any reason, winter-related or not, Dr. Jonathan Glashow provides a wide range of treatments for orthopedic injuries. Contact his office today to schedule an appointment to create your plan for recovery.