While it’s true that some people live for winter, the rest of us bundle up and survive the season. No matter what your attitude is to the snow, ice and cold, things can get slippery out there. Then, there’s the allure of winter sports, for the hardy souls among us. The slopes and rink beckon, as skis and skates come out and noses grow red in the frosty air.
Then, there’s negotiating the roads. Not everyone has snow tires when they’re needed and that can spell disaster in the presence of black ice and sleet.
Winter can be a dodgy time for our bones, because of all these hazards. Let’s review some common wintertime orthopaedic injuries and do our best to avoid them.
When the sidewalk is your enemy.
By the same misfortune that some aren’t prepared with snow tires for their vehicles, not everyone shovels the walk in front of their building and not everyone lays on the salt or sand to melt slippery ice.
That can make the sidewalk your enemy. Slips and falls are extremely common during this perilous time of year. We see so many people at NJOSMI who have had a fall, damaging necks, backs, shoulders, elbows and knees. Some even sustain injuries to the spine, itself.
Vigilance and sturdy boots with a good, strong tread are what’s called for. Ski poles can also be great for getting from the door to the car in winter weather.
Every year, no fewer than 11,000 Americans injure themselves while shoveling snow, or scraping ice off cars, stoops and sidewalks. Some of these injuries are minor, but older people should pay careful attention and perhaps leave these winter chores to those who haven’t done their time yet.
Before you do anything involving snow and ice removal, ensure your body is warm and ready for exertion. It’s not just falls that can hurt you- so can over-exertion that leads to pulls and strains.
Skis, toboggans, boards and skates.
Winter sports are not for the faint of heart. When it’s cold, ice forms and when you fall on it, especially when skating at high velocity, or hurtling down a ski hill, or a boarding or tobogganing run, you can really hurt yourself.
Awareness is your best friend when you’re out there indulging your passion for snow. Know where other people are and what they’re doing. Be aware of changes in weather conditions. Especially on a ski hill, conditions can change alarmingly quickly.
It’s also key that you prepare yourself for any of these sports with a warm up that includes stretching. Wear the protective clothing, too. You may not fancy yourself in a helmet, but it’s what’s going to save your life if you fall on your head, so wear it.
Injured? Let us help.
No matter how careful you are this winter, sometimes the universe conspires and down you go with a thud, anyways.
That’s when you need to reach out and book a consultation with North Jersey Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Institute.
Injured? Let us help!