Winter is in full swing here in Iowa. With the beauty of the season come a greater risk of winter weather related accidents. From accidents because of severe conditions to overindulgence or carelessness, winter requires caution and proactive measures.
Slipping on icy or snowy surfaces sends millions of people to the emergency room each year. While it is best to avoid these hazardous conditions, here in the Midwest, that is often easier said than done.
Here are 4 tips to keep safe.
1. Tread carefully –Take short and deliberate steps and move slower in icy or snowy conditions.
2. Proper footwear – Choose your shoes or boots carefully, opting for a sturdy slip-resistant rubber treads to maintain good traction.
3. Maintain balance – Keep arms free when walking to maintain your balance on unsteady surfaces.
4. Exit vehicles carefully – When moving from your car to the pavement, make sure you have solid footing.
Back injuries because of shoveling are particularly common in the winter months. Weak core and back muscles, combined with improper technique are the perfect recipe for a strained back.
1. Take it slow – Shoveling is not a competition. Pace yourself and be sure to give yourself plenty of breaks.
2. Push instead of lifting – If at all possible, opt for pushing instead of lifting, twisting or throwing snow over your shoulder.
3. Use an ergonomic shovel – These specially designed shovels are intended to help reduce the strain on your upper body while clearing snow.
4. Lighten the load – If you have to lift the snow, don’t overdo it. Smaller loads will reduce the strain on your back and muscles.
Falling or colliding during winter outdoor activities can create serious injuries. Head, neck and back injuries are common when proper care is not taken.
1. Warm-up – Cold muscles are prone to pulls and strains. A quick warm up can do wonders to prevent injuries.
2. Know your surroundings – Scan the area for any potential hazards including rocks, rough or uneven surfaces, trees and branches or sudden drop offs. Determine the best path to avoid these areas.
3. Wear protective gear – Always wear appropriate protective gear when enjoying winter activities.
If you have been injured because of one of these wintertime activities, contact the team at Arndt Chiropractic Center to determine the best care plan for your care and recovery.