Winter is a beautiful time of the year, especially when there is a new layer of light snow decorating the trees. However, winter weather also presents significant hazards. Orthopedic doctors often treat patients who slip and fall on icy sidewalks and patients who suffer orthopedic injuries due to excessive shoveling. Orthopedic specialists recommend taking a few safety precautions to ensure your family’s safety this winter.
Preventing Slip-and-Fall Injuries Slip-and-fall injuries are among the most common orthopedic problems that occur because of winter weather. The best way to prevent yourself from falling on your driveway or sidewalk area is to keep the area clear of snow and ice. Scatter rock salt over the area regularly to keep the ice melted. When you walk outdoors, take short steps and walk slowly. It’s also a good idea to wear shoes with good traction or apply a slip-on traction device to your footwear.
Preventing Shoveling-Related Injuries Shoveling snow exerts significant strain on your muscles and ligaments, particularly those in your back and arms. If you already have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before attempting to shovel snow. It may be best to hire someone to do it for you. Otherwise, work at a slow, steady pace and take breaks often. If the forecast calls for more than three or four inches, start shoveling early in the storm. Shoveling just a few inches at once places less strain on your body. Push the snow with the shovel as far as possible, rather than lifting it and carrying it. When you do lift and throw the snow, keep your back straight and avoid twisting it.
Avoiding Car Crashes Try to limit your driving as much as possible in wintry weather. When you do need to go out, leave plenty of space between your car and the one ahead of you. Drive slowly and avoid sudden changes of direction, such as rapidly changing lanes.
If you do suffer an orthopedic injury due to the winter weather, the specialists of Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine are here to help. Our orthopedic specialists provide exceptional patient care with the latest medical technology. New York City-area residents are encouraged to call our Forest Hills location at (347) 537-2404.