• The Cold Truth about Winter Injuries

      Winter’s on the way, and it’s only a matter of time until the season’s hottest accessory becomes a snow shovel. The coming months have a unique way of presenting us with a new set of chores and hazards that, for all of our preparation, can wind up in a quick trip to the hospital. Never mind agility training, because slipping on ice can happen to anyone. That’s why some of the most common injuries that orthopedic surgeons see in the winter are to our wrists and backs from a variety of snow-and ice-induced mishaps.

       


      Let’s start with the quotidian. Nor’easters can come out of nowhere, and no matter how much canned soup you’ve stocked up, the deluge often means a ton of shoveling on short notice. That means doctors’ offices are soon filled with sufferers of pulled back muscles and slipped discs. The problem is that many people slow down their activities during the winter months, so a normal chore quickly becomes a painful lesson in the benefits of daily stretching and regular exercise.

      Stretching, as always, is one of the most important activities you can do to prevent common back injuries from snow shoveling and the like. There are a number of great back stretches out there, but if you require some assistance or if you have a history of back issues, you should definitely speak to a physical therapist or personal trainer for some tips and techniques. Try adding a few exercises that isolate your core muscles so they’re fortified against the additional strains of winter chores.

      Winter chores are just one way that the seasonal weather can wreak havoc on our fitness. Slipping on ice may seem cartoonish, but as anyone who’s spent a cold December night in the emergency room can attest, a broken wrist or fractured tailbone is an easy way to lose that holiday cheer.

      Preventing such an injury is usually only evident through hindsight, so it’s important to remember that if you’ve hurt yourself by falling you should immediately see an orthopedic surgeon for a thorough assessment of your injury. Thinking your injury will heal itself can lead to further injury or worse, so don’t take any chances and schedule a consultation as soon as possible. As beautiful as winter can be, it has a knack for laying us out, so be careful and remember to stay active and be aware of these common winter injuries in the coming months.