Dr. Greene discusses “Preventing Winter Injuries”

ShoreOrtho Sports Performance
& Injury Prevention Tips


A monthly
series
presented by:
Damon A. Greene, MD
Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon
Shore Orthopaedic University Associates

January 2020

Winter injuries are very common, and every year thousands of people suffer from winter injuries. So let’s discuss ways we can help prevent these injuries.

Walking

Simple walking can become a dangerous activity during winter weather. Hidden ice patches, precipitation, snowbanks can lead to slips stumbles and falls. Some tips to prevent these injuries include

  1. Wear footwear with non-slip soles.
  2. Walk slowly, slide your feet, and avoid turning sharply when on ice, puddles, or other slippery surfaces. Hold onto railings when using outdoor stairways. If encountering these slippery surfaces use your arms to balance yourself.
  3. Wipe your feet when entering a building so that your wet soles won’t cause you to slip.
  4. If you do slip or start to fall, bend your knees and elbows and using your legs and arms to absorb the fall.

Shoveling

Shoveling is a strenuous activity.  One can overexert themselves and end up with exhaustion or even heart strain. However, the most common issues are muscular related with strains to low back shoulders. To reduce your risk, you should:

  1. Pace yourself and take frequent breaks.
  2. Listen to your body and stop immediately if you become short of breath, start sweating heavily, or experience chest pains.
  3. Proper lifting technique. Try to push the snow instead of lifting it. If you cannot push the snow and have to lift it, squat with your legs apart, knees bent, and back straight. Lift with your legs. Do not bend at the waist. Scoop small amounts of snow into the shovel and walk to where you want to dump it.
  4. Safe technique. Do not throw the snow over your shoulder or to the side. This requires a twisting motion that stresses your back. Likewise holding a shovelful of snow with your arms outstretched puts too much weight on your spine.

Dr. Greene is a Sports Medicine Fellowship-Trained, Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon.
He specializes in; acute and chronic ligament, tendon, or cartilage injuries to all major joints; primarily shoulders, elbows, knees and hips. He treats fractures surgically when necessary, but performs casting, bracing, and other non-operative treatments such as specialized injection therapies.

 

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