A Survival Guide for Winter's Threats02/02/14
SUNDAY, Feb. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Every winter, many
Americans suffer broken bones, muscle tears, sprains and strains
from shoveling snow or falling on icy sidewalks and streets.
Orthopedic surgeons at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount
Sinai in New York City are offering tips to help prevent
- One suggestion is to ask your doctor about strengthening
exercises that will improve your balance, which can make a big
difference when walking on ice.
- Try to avoid icy spots. But if you have to venture over them,
remember that walking in a shuffle or moving your feet only
slightly apart will give you better balance than using your normal
stride. Keeping a slight bend in your knees also helps.
- If you're walking on an ice-covered hill, turn sideways and
avoid crossing one foot over the other. Instead, take sidesteps in
which you bring your other foot along to meet your lead foot. Keep
your knees bent for better balance.
- Always check for icy patches when walking, or getting out of
cars, buses and trains or when going up and down outdoor
- To protect your dominant arm if you fall, carry an object or
bag in your dominant hand. This will make you more likely to use
your non-dominant arm to break a fall.
The surgeons also outlined ways to reduce the risk of injuries
while shoveling snow.
- Warm up your muscles with 10 minutes of light exercise before
your start shoveling.
- Use a shovel that suits your height and strength. Don't use a
shovel that is too long or heavy for you.
- Try to push the snow instead of lifting it. If you must lift
snow, squat with your legs apart, knees bent and back straight.
Lift with your legs.
- Carry small amounts of snow to where you want to place it.
Don't toss snow over your shoulder or to the side. This type of
twisting motion stresses your back.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
winter health and safety.
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.