Keeping Injury free when it snows!

It’s that time of year again when there’s snow in the forecast and there’s plenty to do outside. It also happens to be the time of year when we start to see plenty of snow-related injuries. Whether it’s a rotator cuff tear, an ankle sprain, wrist fracture, or ACL tear, Dee physical therapy is here to help you feel good again! That being said, prevention is one of the best ways to mitigate your risk for injury this winter and this post will keep you from needing us later on.

We’ve all been there, 2 feet of snow and you’re outside shoveling snow for an hour. You wake up the next day and your back is tight and sore or your shoulder now has a nagging pain whenever you reach overhead.

  • Lift the snow with the bigger more powerful muscles of your legs
  • Alternate the direction you shovel (10 to the right, 10 to the left)
  • Dump the snow to your side instead of over your shoulder or having to twist
  • If it is light enough push the snow instead of lifting it
  • Take breaks and pace yourself if you are not used to the stress

The mountains are covered and the lifts are running! What better way to spend a powder day than tearing up the slopes? However, during the winter we do see an increase in skiing or snowboarding related injuries like ACL tears or wrist fractures. A few strategies could keep you going all winter!

  • Most injuries happen later in the day when you start getting tired. If you feel like your turns are getting sloppy it might be time for a break
  • Take a warm up lap on easier trails to give you a chance to find your rhythm
  • When possible avoid turning on an ice patch

Unfortunately, with snow comes ice. And we have seen plenty of people who have gotten myriad injuries from slipping and falling on ice. While there is an element of luck in avoiding a fall on ice we have a few ideas in mind.

  • If you have no choice but to walk over ice, take smaller steps. Keeping your weight in your center of mass decreases the likelihood of falling
  • Take your time! Moving slower allows you to gradually put weight onto your next step
  • Keep yourself strong, the stronger your hips, knees, ankles, and feet the more likely you’re able to avoid slipping

Roads are slick and sometimes accidents happen. Sometimes they’re minor and others are more involved. Either way, car accidents can leave you with neck pain, often referred to as whiplash. Physical therapy is perfectly suited to addressing your post-accident aches and pains. Provided nothing more serious is going on, these strategies should help!

  • Keep moving within your comfort zone
  • Most people will improve within 2-3 months
  • Avoid use of a neck brace for longer than a few days

While not a comprehensive list, Dee Physical Therapy is committed to helping you have a great winter free of unnecessary injury. We are here to help you feel good again. We have multiple locations and you can contact us to schedule an appointment or a free injury screen to determine if physical therapy would be helpful for you.