Take care this week when the cold snap hits – its prime time for injuries!
Icy weather can mean a lot more than wearing lots of layers and raised heating bills. Apart from the poor posture we adopt from hunching to keep warm and tensing our muscles against the cold, to fall and break a bone means a long spell of pain and dysfunction, and rehab. Note that a fracture and a break in your bone are the same thing.
Be proactive this week with the “Beast from the East” on its way and try to prevent a fracture at all costs. The following simple tips are easy to implement to avoid a nasty fall on ice:
Tips for walking in icy conditions:
- Turn your feet outwards like a penguin! This increases your centre of gravity and makes you more balanced on the ice
- Keep your knees relaxed as you move
- Spread out your arms to improve your balance
- Bend slightly forward and walk flat footed on ice
- Avoid shoes with smooth soles and heels
- Wear solid boots with strong ankle support- putting a pair of socks over your boots will improve your grip on the ice if you don’t have ice grips already from the Big Freeze
- Take shorter steps and move more slowly
- Approach every surface with caution and assume that all dark, wet areas on pavements are icy and slippery
- Be careful getting in and out of your car – hold onto the car for support
- Walk on main pathways and roads as much as possible. Taking shortcuts over snow and frozen areas can be dangerous
- If you slip and fall backwards, tuck in your chin to protect the back of your head
- Avoid carrying heavy bags, this will reduce your balance and make you more likely to fall
- Stock up on gritting salt and doorstep defroster and use it outside your home and office
If you are unlucky enough to fall and fracture a bone, call us here at the clinic to discuss your rehabilitation plan. There will be some rehab work that can start even with a cast on. The quicker you begin your rehabilitation, the quicker you will get back to full function.