At the time this article was written, some 70% of the nation was experiencing at least some snow cover. Some locales had mere traces of snow while others were covered in feet of the white stuff. Regardless, it is not hard to imagine a lot of people pining for the first signs of spring. Winter is not just cold and uncomfortable; it is also a season of painful injuries.
People injure themselves throughout the year. That much is true. But many of the injuries sustained during the winter months are a direct result of the snow and ice. It is enough to make you want to stay indoors from mid-December through the end of February.
Snow Removal Back Injuries
Snow removal is a common cause of back injury. Unfortunately, accumulated snow has to be removed from driveways and sidewalks. If you don’t have a plow or snowblower, your only choice might be the tried-and-true snow shovel. But be careful as shoveling snow improperly can lead to back injury.
It is best to treat shoveling snow like lifting heavy objects, according to the doctors at Texas-based Lone Star Pain Medicine. In other words, do not shovel snow by bending over and lifting with your back. Keep your knees bent as you load the shovel, then lift up with the strength of your legs. Don’t lift with your back.
It’s also wise idea to turn your entire body, rather than twisting, to throw the snow off the shovel. Another helpful tip is to work with your hips pointed in a slightly forward position. This causes you to straighten your back just to remain upright.
Slips, Falls, and Broken Bones
The winter months are especially inviting to slip-and-fall accidents. It is easy to slip on a sidewalk coated in black ice. It’s easy to trip on a snow-covered stairway as you’re headed indoors. Unfortunately, the combination of hard surfaces and cold temperatures makes it easier than ever to break a bone.
Needless to say, the potential of slip-and-fall accidents is one of the main reasons to keep your driveway and sidewalk clear of snow. There is no point in risking injury to avoid the work that is snow removal. Also keep in mind that rock salt and non-salt ice melt solutions can go a long way toward preventing slip-and-fall accidents.
Strains, Sprains, Etc.
The winter months sure have their fair share of sporting activities to take advantage of. Downhill and cross-country skiing are at the top of the list. Others prefer snowboarding. Still others cannot wait to get on the ice for a little hockey or figure skating. The one thing all of the sports have in common is the tendency toward injury.
Strains, sprains, and tendon damage are far too common on the slopes. Combine gravity, slippery snow, skis, and plenty of speed, and you have a recipe for injury. Throw in a crash here and there and you are likely to hurt yourself at some point.
Of course, it is impossible to eliminate all of the risk, but there are safer ways to enjoy outdoor sports. Regardless of the sport in question, safety equipment should be utilized whenever possible. Making a concerted effort to be safe should mean fewer opportunities to get injured.
Depending on when you read this post, you may still have a few opportunities to injure yourself under winter weather conditions. And if not, there is always next winter. Whatever you do, be careful out there. There is no need to injure yourself while shoveling snow, enjoying your favorite winter sport, or walking to and from the car.