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 changes to the local terrain. Many of these changes can make walking or driving more difficult.
The most dangerous of all these changes 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. Our physical therapists can offer specific tips that can help you avoid slipping on ice and injuring yourself.
Avoid slipping on ice with these 11 helpful tips
Physical therapists want you to avoid any potential slips and falls on the ice 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. These benefits can come from following tips like:
Avoid icy surfaces when possible by changing your route.
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 anytime there may be ice. Boots are best, but any footwear with good traction and a rubber sole will do. Be sure to wear proper footwear while traveling and bring another pair of shoes to change into when you get to work.
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 after looking for ice.
Remove snow and water from your shoes when entering buildings.
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, since this can cause further injury.
Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation can help you avoid slipping-related injuries
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 slip or fall on the ice or to schedule an appointment for any aches or pains you may be experiencing, our Arrow Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation team can help.
We offer free screenings that can reveal underlying issues that can make you more likely to slip while walking on ice. Additionally, our physical therapists excel at building personalized therapy plans designed to prevent future injuries.
Contact our team today for more information about our beneficial physical therapy services or to schedule your initial appointment.