Be Careful This Season! Avoid These Common Winter Injuries

Wintertime can conjure up a lot of warm and fuzzy memories for many. Unfortunately, for some, winter injuries can put a damper on the spirit of the season! As temperatures drop and merrymaking festivities begin, there accidents just waiting to happen. The good news is, we’ll identify common injuries and how to prevent them!

Decorating

How dangerous does decorating sound? At first glance, on a scale from one to 10, probably zero. But you might be forgetting about the great heights many a holiday decorator must literally get to when hanging lights or trimming a tree. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2016 there were 700 holiday decorating related ER-treated injuries. The most frequent holiday decorating incidents involved falls (41%), lacerations (10%) and back strains (5%).

If you’re looking to hang lights or add decoration to hard-to-reach places, don’t go at it alone! Use a sturdy step-stool or ladder which can support your weight and make sure a friend is there to guard and hold the bottom of the ladder (don’t stand on a chair!). Be sure to wear sturdy shoes, too. There are a host of great safety tips you can find at OnSafety.org.

Cleaning

Around wintertime, the elements like to bring a mess to your yards and driveways! Shoveling snow, raking leaves and cleaning gutters all take a lot of manual effort and can bring on injuries, or even death, if you’re not careful. When shoveling snow, the National Safety Council recommends that you:

  • Not shovel after eating or while smoking
  • Stretch before you begin
  • Work slowly
  • Shovel only fresh, powdery snow
  • Push the snow rather than lifting it (If you do lift it, use a small shovel or only partially fill the shovel)
  • Lift with your legs, not your back
  • Don’t work to where you become exhausted
  • Know the signs of a heart attack. If you experience any of them, stop immediately and call 911

When working outdoors during cold temperatures during the winter, dress warm from head to toe.

Traveling

It’s always good to remind yourself safety basics when on the road. Wet and snowy conditions leave roads hard to traverse–always wear your seat belt, accelerate and decelerate slowly, reduce your speed and avoid driving on icy roads altogether! Read on for more great tips from AAA.

If you are traveling by airplane, try avoiding back and neck pain by doing the following:

  • Check in your luggage (and choose the rolling kind!)
  • Travel light–don’t overstuff your bags
  • Bring a neck and lumbar pillow
  • When possible, get up and move around during the flight and try some in-flight stretching exercises 

We wish you a safe and injury-free holiday season! In the event you do suffer an injury, please see a doctor! At Everett Spine and Rehab, we are here to help you with your back pain, muscle strains, migraines and injury rehab all year long.