Winter Fall Prevention

Shoveling

With winter comes ice, snow, sleet, and other varying forms of precipitation. There’s something they have in common: they make things slippery.

Failing to prepare is preparing to… 
Meteorologists may not get it right all the time, but in the case of inclement weather, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If poor weather is headed your way, don’t fail to prepare. Make sure you have a shovel and plenty of salt to sprinkle on your driveway and walkways. Shoveling the snow as it falls may seem tortuous, but lifting light layers of snow will be easier on your back. The swift removal of snow, along with the periodic sprinkling of salt, will help prevent freezing. During the winter months, falls on frozen surfaces is a primary cause of back-related injuries. Make sure your snow boots are nearby.

Bag lady.
Many of us are guilty of looking like a bag lady (or gent’). We are a one-trip generation. Rather than carrying items in from your car – one at a time – we load them up! When the weather is harsh and ice is part of the equation, do yourself a favor and keep your hands free (even if that means more trips to and fro). Keeping your hands free will help stabilize you as you walk.

Shuffle, shuffle.
It may not be an aspiration of yours to look like a Penguin, but doing the Penguin shuffle can help you remain vertical. Taking small steps helps keep your center of gravity over your front legs (minimizing falls).

If the elements get the better of you, speedy healing is just a call away. Visit us at our Lititz, Lancaster or Ephrata location (Direct Access participants).

Wayne McKinley, PT, OCS

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