The holidays are coming to a close, but there are still several months of winter ahead of us. Stay safe and avoid compromising the safety of your spine with the following fall prevention and spine care tips for the winter.
- Take Care While Shoveling Snow: Keeping your property safe is an essential step in preventing winter falls and spine injuries. Although most dread the task of shoveling snow, it is important to take precautions when doing so. Always do some gentle neck and black stretches before you start shoveling and make sure you have the right tool for the job. Choose a shovel that is lightweight with a sharp blade that is appropriate for your height. A shovel that is too long or too short will cause you to bend forward or back to compensate, compromising the health of your spine.
- Keep Up Your Exercise Regimen: Strength and balance are your best defense against a winter slip and fall injury. When you are strong and stable, you are less likely to fall and better able to recover balance if you feel yourself starting to slip. Simple exercises like walking and swimming have tremendous benefits to your strength and balance. Yoga and Tai Chi are also effective exercises for fall prevention and classes are offered at many gyms, community centers, and online.
- Dress Appropriately for Winter Conditions: Appropriate footwear is imperative to avoiding a winter slip and fall. Select a shoe with a sturdy sole and a deep, thick tread. Additionally, many falls occur due to low temperatures, which can cause the fingers and toes to stiffen, compromising balance. For this reason, it is essential to dress for the weather with thick socks, gloves, a hat, scarf, and a warm coat.