As winter approaches, occasional slip-and-fall accidents are inevitable. Hidden ice patches can be a hazard for everyone, even the fittest among us. From a strained back muscle, dislocated shoulder to more severe injuries such as fractures, falling can cause a variety of injuries. Thankfully, there are lots of easy strategies you may use to prevent injuries. To make sure you stay healthy and safe this winter, just continue reading our physiotherapist’s guide to preventing injuries this winter.
Utilize appropriate shoveling methods
While shoveling snow, one could suffer injuries to the shoulders or lower back muscles and ligaments. Without following the proper safety measures, people may become exhausted, experience hypothermia, and experience heart strain.
- Warm-up exercises should be performed before shoveling. Body-weight squats and mobility stretches can help to release the muscles and warm them up.
- Depending on whether you have experienced occasional discomfort or whether you have a history of injuries, heat or ice can help you feel better after shoveling. To gain particular guidance on this, it is advised to speak with a physiotherapist!
- Use legs as much as you can to help propel you up while keeping the shovel close to your body, bending over while maintaining a straight back and engaged core. Instead of hinging from your back, use your hips. The knees and back aren’t put under stress. If balance is good, a staggered stance or a wider stance for squatting may be beneficial.
Follow recommended procedures to avoid falls and slips
Make sure your body is ready for the weather, temperature, and ground conditions before venturing outside. Your body works extra hard to generate heat on really cold days, and your heart exerts the most effort to start your blood pumping. Before stepping outside, perform a few short warm-up exercises in the comfort of your house to aid your heart and to loosen up your muscles.
Stretching and gentle cardio are both acceptable forms of a light warm-up. An excellent warm-up exercise might be:
1) A 10-minute light cardio session. Walking around the home, performing jumping jacks, or jogging while stationary can all be used to raise your heart rate.
2) Hamstring and calves-focused leg stretches. In the winter, we frequently observe the most pulls and strains in these two muscular groups.
Start your preparations well before you hit sports
Work on your lower body and core to maximize your winter sports season and lessen your risk of injury. To maintain your body’s stability and prevent injuries from falls and overexertion, you’ll need to have some substantial strength, stamina, and flexibility.
- Before beginning any physical activity, warm up. The ideal approach to warm up is to begin with a simple cardiovascular workout like jogging or, if there isn’t enough room to run, jumping jacks. You might next want to transition into some dynamic stretches before finishing with exercises that are particular to your sport.
- Always use safety gear. Always wear a helmet, and make sure that it is tailored to your activities because certain other types of helmets may not offer the protection you require.
- Drink plenty of water, and don’t push yourself too hard. To stay hydrated, a reasonable rule of thumb is to drink 350 to 500 ml of water for every hour of activity, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Take frequent breaks, monitor your energy levels, and if you start to feel tired, it might be time to stop working for the day.
During the winter, injuries happen a lot more frequently. Shovel-related back pain can be tolerated, but fractures may force us to spend the entire season in recovery. The Physiomobility team is here to assist you if you’re feeling any aches and pains. Call us at (416) 444 4800 to schedule an appointment or if you’d like more information about our services and the numerous ways they can help you.
Incline Health (2021). Tips from a sports physio to avoid injuries this winter-sports season. https://inclinehealth.com.au/tips-from-a-sports-physio-to-avoid-injuries-this-winter-sports-season/
Skrastins (2020). Shovelling: how to stay safe this winter and prevent injuries! Physiotherapy Yonge and Eglinton. https://www.alphahealthservices.ca/shovelling-how-to-stay-safe-this-winter-and-prevent-injuries-physiotherapy-yonge-and-eglinton/