Whether it be a gentle walk around the neighborhood or a full day of hitting the slopes, there are a number of ways to stay active during the chilly winter months. Winter fun doesn’t come without its caveats, though. Accidents and injuries become increasingly common in the presence of ice, snow and extreme cold temperatures. While there’s no magic bullet for preventing winter injuries from occurring, knowing what to watch out for and maintaining attention to your surroundings both play key roles in staying safe this time of year.
Here are four of the most common injuries we see at ConvenientMD throughout the winter.
1. Winter Sports Injuries
As winter often means spending more time indoors, staying active becomes increasingly important. Many of us in New England participate in winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and sledding, among others. While all of these activities can be both fun and increase activity level, participating in winter sports also comes along with an increased risk of injury. Broken bones (especially the arms and wrists), sprains and strains, back injuries, and more are all common injuries we see as a result of participating in winter sports. Wearing appropriate safety gear can help mitigate injury, as well as ensuring a proper warm-up before participating in any rigorous activity—even shoveling!
2. Muscle Strains
Speaking of shoveling, it and other often necessary winter maintenance routines can be rather hard on the body—especially for the elderly. Many people underestimate the amount of physical activity that comes along with clearing snow, and muscle strains and tears are not uncommon after a long day of shoveling. The solution? Either hire a professional to do the work for you or take it slow if you choose to do it yourself, lifting only small amounts of snow at a time.
3. Slips and Falls
Nobody walks out their front door to get the mail expecting to slip on a patch of black ice and break their ankle—or worse—however this is how the majority of slips and falls play out during the winter months. Slipping on icy surfaces is likely depending upon the type of footwear you have on at the time, particularly during evening hours when visibility is limited. Choosing proper footwear when walking outside in the winter can be helpful, however it is just as important to pay close attention to your surroundings and maintain balance when dealing with ice and snow underfoot.
4. Cuts and Lacerations
For many people, winter translates to an uptick in cooking and preparing meals at home—especially throughout the holiday season. All of that chopping and slicing leads to higher numbers of cuts and lacerations during this time of year, particularly on the hands and fingers. An important to note, dull knives are more likely to cause accidents during food prep than sharp blades. Dull knives are prone to slippage and often require an extra struggle to cut fully through sturdy ingredients like root vegetables. As you are cooking this season, and throughout the year, be cautious and make sure you are using the proper cooking tools!
If you get injured this winter (or any time of the year), ConvenientMD is here to help. Just walk into any ConvenientMD location in New Hampshire, Maine or Massachusetts to be seen by one of our expert treating providers.