Common Winter Holiday Injuries to Avoid
The holidays are a wonderful time to slow down from the hustle and bustle of work, spend time with the people we love, and rediscover hobbies we haven't had time for through the rest of the year. Unfortunately, this is also a popular season for exposing ourselves to potential injuries. While there are opportunities to experience these injuries throughout the rest of the year, winter and the holiday season are the most common due to the cold, the snow, and of course, the ice.
We want to share with you the three most common injuries that we may help our clients with during the holiday season, and how to avoid them as best as possible.
Slips and Falls
We have all experienced slipping on icy outdoor surfaces at one point or another, which could result in broken bones, soreness of limbs that we use to catch our fall, or sprained joints. The best way to prevent slipping and falling on ice is to take your time. Be mindful of how you walk and where you step. Ensure that you take slow, short steps, with your hands out of your pockets to help with your balance. Wearing shoes with a firm grip will help immensely, as well.
Along with slips and falls on ice, we are also susceptible to falling from ladders while putting up the Christmas tree inside the home, or decorative lights outside the home. We often put ourselves in unsafe situations by going just a little higher on the ladder, or leaning over a little too far to reach for a light. To prevent injury here, always have someone standing at the base of the ladder for support, ensure that the ladder is on firm, level ground, and be in a well lit room when decorating.
Back and Neck Injuries
These types of injuries are common when shoveling snow in the winter, but can also be caused by car accidents resulting from driving in slippery, low-visibility conditions.
Moving large amounts of snow can lead to muscle strains and ruptured discs if not handled with proper technique, and you may feel these injuries immediately, or when you wake up the next day. We always recommend our clients push the snow, rather than lifting and throwing it. Also consider performing a light warm-up before the shoveling begins.
And while driving, be sensitive to the weather and road conditions. Pavement can, and likely will be slippery and accidents are common. We highly recommend installing winter tires on your car to increase traction, leave home a little earlier and drive a little slower than you normally would, and be aware of other cars driving around you.
Winter Sports Injuries
The holiday season is prime time for winter sports, whether you enjoy skating, snowboarding, hockey, or even just tobogganing. Unfortunately, winter sports can be especially dangerous because of cold muscles and exposure to falling and severe contact. The best way to prevent injuries while enjoying these sports is to warm up thoroughly, wear any recommended protective equipment for your sport of choice, and ensure that your equipment is in proper working order.If you’ve fallen walking on ice, or are experiencing pain due to shoveling or from practicing your favourite winter sport, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Lanoue who may be able to help you.
And leave us a comment below to let us know if you’ve experienced any of these common injuries.
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