Winter is officially upon us and with every winter comes one thing: injuries. During the long months of winter, thousands of people suffer from different injuries every year. What’s more is that many of these injuries are entirely preventable. Whether you’re an athlete or not, injuries can strike at any moment if you’re not prepared. Don’t spend your favorite season laid up in bed tending to an injury and missing out on all of the frozen fun. Follow these winter injury prevention tips that we’ve laid out for you and make the best out of the next couple of months!
Slipping and Falling During Winter
One of the most common ways to injure yourself during the winter is by slipping and falling, especially in wet or icy conditions. The first step to preventing this is by assuring you’re wearing the proper footwear. Wear boots or shoes that properly support the ankle and have a non-slip sole to ensure proper traction and prevent slipping. You should also try to keep your hands as free as possible while walking in slippery conditions. Your arms and hands act as balancers and you’re more susceptible to falling when carrying something. While doing this, be sure to walk slowly by sliding your feet and avoiding changing direction quickly or using railings where available. If you do find yourself falling, tuck your elbows and knees in and try absorb the impact with your arms and legs rather than your joints to avoid serious injury. Lastly, always make sure that you wipe and dry your shoes when going inside to avoid slipping on tile or causing somebody else slipping on your wet tracks. Follow these steps, and you should stay upright all winter long!
Winter Shoveling Tips
Shoveling can be extremely strenuous on your body and cause some serious injuries. The soft ligaments and muscles in the lower back and shoulders are especially susceptible to injury if you’re not used to working those areas. In addition to this, people also often experience exhaustion or heart strain. With that being said, it’s still something that has to get done during the snowy weather, but be sure to give yourself plenty of breaks and proper rest when you find yourself getting tired, short of breath, or start to feel chest pains. To avoid over-exerting your muscles and ligaments, push the snow as much as possible rather than lifting the snow and using unnecessary energy. Pace yourself, work smart, and you’ll get through this necessary chore injury free.
Winter Injury Prevention for Athletes
Athletes put a different level of strain on their body compared to everyday people, so it’s important for them to prepare properly for the cold weather. During winter, it’s critical to drink plenty of water and do proper stretching and warm up techniques. The cold climate can cause muscles to become colder and tighter, which can lead to serious injuries if you’re not warmed up. Winter can also make for some pretty dangerous conditions. If you decide to jog or participate in an outdoor sports during these next few months, make sure that you have the proper footwear, sufficient outerwear to protect from the wind, and are aware of the weather forecast to avoid being outside during a storm. Always workout with a buddy just in case you experience an injury. Have a great workout and be safe!
Winter Driving Accidents
One of the most common injury causes are motor vehicle accidents and winter brings along a spike in accident numbers. Driving accidents can cause muscular injuries, neck and spine injuries, and plenty more. During winter, it’s important to drive slowly and safely in inclement weather. Always listen to advisories, only drive on salted and plowed roads, and use a four wheel drive vehicle whenever possible. Safe driving can be the difference between a healthy winter and an injured one. Be just as safe in your car as you are on your feet this winter.
Injury Prevention Specialists in NJ & NY
Sometimes injuries are unavoidable, especially during winter. If you find yourself injured and looking to get back on your feet as quickly and safely as possible, look to JAG Physical Therapy. With convenient locations throughout New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, we pride ourselves on being dedicated to our patients’ health and well-being. We are home to some of the leading experts in sports medicine and proudly serve countless athletes at every level with services including injury prevention and training services. If you are looking for traditional physical therapy, we offer a wide variety of physical therapy services. If you’ve experienced an injury, need help with sports training, or simply have any questions, contact us today to set up your first appointment. Don’t spend your winter banged up and bed ridden; visit JAG Physical Therapy today to ensure a safe and healthy winter!
Learn More From JAG PT: