Don’t Slip Up This Winter: How to Prevent Slip and Falls on Ice

Slip and falls are some of the most frequent types of injuries that occur
during the winter months, and are also the most common reason for winter
back pain. Walking on snow and ice causes millions of falls each year.
Although it seems as if it would be a small thought, taking the extra time
to pay attention during the frosty months can prevent a lifetime of back
pain later.
Sidewalks, major pedestrian roadways, and intersections should all be salt
treated whenever winter precipitation occurs, however those walking
outdoors will still encounter some slippery surfaces in the winter. Here
are tips to help learn to walk safely on ice and slippery surfaces.
It is recommended to keep these important safety tips in mind:
What to Wear:
· During wet, winter weather, avoid boots or shoes with smooth soles and
heels. Also avoid any shoes made with leather or plastic soles. Go with
boots that provide traction, those made of non-slip rubber or neoprene with
grooved soles are best for snow and ice.
· To keep warm and provide a cushion in the event you fall, choose a heavy,
padded coat that will serve as a bumper between your body and the ground
should you fall.
· Try to keep your clothing bright so that drivers can see you as they
approach. Scarves, gloves, and other winter gear often come in florescent
colors that will allow you to stay visible. Make sure you wrap your scarf
or wear earmuffs to keep warm, but be sure you can hear what’s going on
around you.
When Walking on Ice:
· In cold temperatures, pay attention to where you walk and assume as if
all pavement and surfaces are wet. Remember black ice is as difficult to
gauge as a pedestrian as it is for a driver. When walking, bend your body
slightly and walk flat-footed with your center of gravity directly over the
feet as much as possible. Keep your arms out of pocket and to the side as
much as possible.
· If you or a loved one should experience a fall, please contact a
physician immediately. If you begin to experience serious back or neck
pain, please go to an emergency room as soon as possible. For more
information about winter safety and back pain, subscribe to our blog. Dr.
Sharma along with all of Virginia Spine Specialists would like to wish all
our readers Happy Holidays!