Avoiding Common Winter Injuries: Be Careful. Be Prepared.
Schneck Medical Center - January 19, 2021

Avoiding Common Winter Injuries: Be Careful. Be Prepared.

Harsh and unexpected winter conditions have taught us to prepare for the worst. We put emergency kits in our cars, stock up on extra provisions at home, and schedule our travels around weather forecasts. These are all essential steps toward keeping ourselves safe; but don’t forget to take care of your physical self, too. Learning about these common winter injuries can help you avoid them.

Slips & Falls

Winter brings with it all things frozen: roads, sidewalks, stairs, and any other route that gets you where you need to go. These icy surfaces are a hazard to driving and walking alike! And wintry mixes can freeze in ways that are hard to see—either as a clear layer or hidden underneath snow.
 
Slipping and falling on stairs or a sidewalk can cause any number of injuries, from bruises to broken bones. Be prepared for ice by having deicing salt on hand, and make sure your shoes have good tread before heading outside.
 

Soreness & Sprains

Keeping your paths clear of ice and snow will help you avoid slipping. However, activities like shoveling sidewalks and scraping windshields require caution as well. Shoveling for too long (or doing too much at once) can wear you out, causing muscle soreness. Additionally, moving the wrong way might cause a sprain or dislocation in your wrists, shoulders, or back. Make sure to take it slow and take breaks if you feel any pain.

Thinking about a winter workout?

Staying active in winter is still possible! There are plenty of ways to safely exercise outdoors even in the cold - you just have a few more factors to consider.
 
  • Wear layers
  • Cover your head, hands, feet, and ears
  • Check your weather conditions, paying special attention to wind chill
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite
  • Stay on clear pathways
  • Stretch before and after
 
Following these tips can keep you safe while still meeting your goals.

We’re Here to Help

At Schneck Medical Center, we’re dedicated to helping you stay safe and healthy. Ask your doctor if you have more specific questions about how you can avoid these common winter injuries. And, if any of these do happen to you, our Orthopedics and Sports Medicine physicians are ready to provide compassionate care.