According to the CDC, more than 8 million Americans suffered from injuries that occurred from slips and falls in 2013. During a Rochester, NY winter, it can be even harder to avoid slips and falls due to the weather. There are precautions to take, so you can stay safe during the cold months, ahead.
Avoid Icy Surfaces
Water alone on a surface can make it slippery and once it becomes ice, watch out! Use salt or “ice melt” products on steps, sidewalks, and driveways when you know that snow or ice could be in the forecast. Avoid walking on icy areas if you can, and patronize businesses that take care of the ice and snow around entryways and parking lots.
Be Careful of Entryways
These areas tend to get the most saturated with water. As enter and people wipe shoes on mats, it can be unavoidable. Unfortunately, even with the use of mats, these areas can still be dangerous so use caution.
Pay Attention to Surroundings
Many times wet floors are marked with signs, so you know to take precautions. But an injured back is worth avoiding, so we encourage you pay attention to your surroundings! If you need to take a phone call or text message, stop and find a bench to sit on so you can come and go, safely.
Avoid Carrying Too Much to Keep Balance
Keeping your balance can be even harder during the winter, thanks to the wet surfaces. During these colder months, avoid carrying too much weight or packages. The inability to se over things you’re carrying and trying to overload one arm so you can open a door is a back injury waiting to happen. Do yourself a favor and make a second trip.
It can be hard to see water and ice, so avoid running. Instead, walk slower than you normally would, so it’s not as hard to slow down. In addition to walking slower, small steps can help you get better support and keep your balance, if you find yourself on a slick surface.
If you have to be outside during bad weather, such as to clear your driveway or walkway, it’s important to wear the right footwear and protective gear in order to stay safe and avoid back pain and injury. The right footwear should include traction control to give you more protection. Wear the right eyewear for your needs, in order to see any potential hazards. If it’s sunny, make sure you are wearing sunglasses so the sun reflecting doesn’t blind you. When shoveling, choose a shovel that works with your body so you can avoid unnecessary lifting or twisting. An adjustable handle will help prevent you from having to bend. Cold muscles are more likely to be injured, so take time to warm up (Link to previous blog) with a short walk or other warm-up activities before you begin. At Rush-Henrietta Family Chiropractic, we can help you with series of exercises. Make sure to bend your knees so that your back isn’t doing all the work. Don’t twist your back or reach for the snow, and walk to it instead. If you do experience back strain, contact us at Rush-Henrietta Family Chiropractic so you can continue to be safe throughout the winter. 585-321-3200.