Winter is a wonderful time of the year, with the holiday season and spending time with friends and family. However, it can also pose certain risks that can lead to a fall that causes an orthopedic injury. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we understand that no one wants to deal with an orthopedic injury during the holiday season, so we’ve laid out some tips to help you prevent them this winter:
- Stick to Your Exercise Routine
With the stress that often comes along with the holiday season, many people tend to ignore their usual exercise routine during the winter. However, this can weaken your muscles and increase the risk for an orthopedic injury. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, muscle weakness can cause instability in the knees, hips, and ankles, therefore increasing the risk for a fall. Keep your muscles strong by making sure to get at least 30 minutes of muscle-strengthening exercise into your day.
- Wear the Correct Shoes
Wearing shoes that provide stability and traction is important, especially during the winter when ice may have formed on the ground. Wearing the correct shoes can help prevent a fall that leads to an orthopedic injury. A study published in the journal “Applied Ergonomics” indicated a relationship between lower shoe traction and a higher risk of slipping (2). When purchasing winter footwear, check the sole for tread that can safely grip the ground, even if ice has formed.
- Watch Out for Black Ice
While it is typically thought of as only a roadway problem, black ice can pose a threat for walkers, too. According to the US Forest Service, black ice is not actually black, but rather a clear layer of ice that can easily blend in with pavement and sidewalks. This makes it incredibly difficult to see and avoid. While it’s difficult to see, it is not impossible – keep an eye out for glossy patches when you’re walking and avoid these areas to prevent slipping.
- Wait Until the Afternoon to Go Outside
If at all possible, it’s best to wait to run errands or go outside until the later hours of the morning. This allows any ice that has accumulated to melt and not pose as much of a risk for slipping and falling. According to the journal “Ergonomics,” three-quarters of falls occur between 7 AM and 9 AM (4). Stay safe and avoid an orthopedic injury this winter by waiting until after 9 AM to go outside when possible.
No one wants to deal with an orthopedic injury, especially during the holiday season. These tips can help you prevent a potentially dangerous fall. For expert orthopedic services, give Houston Physicians’ Hospital a call at (281) 557-5620. We have the leading orthopedic doctors in Clear Lake, Texas, and the surrounding areas.