Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation in Woodbridge wants you to be careful while walking on ice to prevent a fall
Winter tends to be a tough and frustrating time for getting around. When there’s precipitation mixed with changing temperatures, the result can be a variety of terrains, many of which are difficult to navigate. The most dangerous of all these conditions is ice. When there’s ice on driveways, walkways and parking lots, it poses a serious risk for falls and slips, and the elderly and those who already have difficulty walking need to be extra careful over the colder months.
Slips and falls are actually the single largest cause for emergency room visits, and they are responsible for 300,000 serious injuries and 20,000 deaths each year. Though a number of other factors can lead to these accidents, the majority of them are due to icy conditions during the winter.
After a fall, a victim usually experiences long-term disability and added difficulty while walking and going about daily life. Falls can lead to a number of injuries, and some of the most common ones seen are back muscle strains, head injuries and possible concussion, and fractures to the tailbone, hips, forearms, legs and ankles.
Arrow Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation wants you to stay on your feet and avoid any potential falls this winter season. By taking your time and following a few basic precautions, you’ll reduce your chances of slipping and keep yourself safe during the colder months of the year. We recommend the following:
- Avoid icy surfaces and change your route accordingly to walk around it
- Test potentially icy spots by tapping the area with your foot first
- Shovel and salt your driveways and walkways (or have someone else do it)
- Take small steps, walk slowly and never run under any circumstances
- Be sure you’re wearing proper footwear any time there may be ice: boots are best, but any pair with good traction and a rubber sole will do; if need be, wear proper footwear while traveling and bring a pair to change into
- Keep both hands free (not in your pockets) for balance, use handrails whenever they are available and don’t carry any heavy loads
- Don’t jump out of vehicles; instead, step out carefully and look for ice
- Remove snow and water from your shoes when entering buildings
- If you fall: if you begin to fall forward, try to twist your body and roll with the fall, while keeping your body relaxed
- For a backward fall, try to relax your body and sit down
- Don’t use your hands to break your fall, which can cause further injury
Getting around in icy conditions may take longer than usual and often requires additional planning, but the extra time and effort will certainly be worth it if it prevents you from slipping this winter. If you’d like more advice on how to avoid a fall or to schedule an appointment for any aches or pains you might be experiencing, Arrow Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation in Woodbridge, Edison, Somerville and Union is here to help. Call us at 732-494-0895 to schedule an appointment.