Winter Safety Tips from Front Range Orthopedics Physical Therapy

In the winter, our physical therapy department at Front Range Orthopedics & Spine sees an uptick in injuries from winter-related activities. These can be muscle strains from shoveling snow or slipping on ice, all the way to more serious sports injuries from skiing and snowboarding accidents. Our physical therapy department has put together some winter safety tips to help you prevent injury this winter.

Warm Up

Any time you are heading out in the winter cold, you will benefit from doing a little warm up. Warming up is critical to avoiding injury during any season. It gets your blood flowing and loosens your muscles, better preparing you for your work out, snow shoveling, or just an outing in the cold weather.

Know When You’re Tired

Winter injuries, especially those on the slopes, often occur at the end of the day. The key here is to listen to your body and know when you’re tired. If you’re tired, don’t go on one last run. If you’re in the gym, be careful not to push yourself too much. Stopping early is a better alternative to injuring yourself.

Hydrate

It can be easy to forget to get enough water when the weather is cool and dry instead of hot and humid. Water is essential to keeping your body in optimal working conditions. We recommend getting a minimum of 64 ounces of water per day and increasing your intake before, during, and after all winter sports activities.

Walk Carefully

After a snowstorm, we advise people to slow down and walk more carefully. Falls on ice are usually the result of people walking too quickly or misjudging how slick the ice is. Falls on ice can cause a number of injuries like neck and back injuries. To avoid a fall, walk slower and with shorter strides.

Use Proper Gear

Whether you are shoveling snow, snowboarding, or skiing, it is important that you use proper gear. Using the proper equipment for these various tasks is key to preventing injuries. Too often we see people come in with injuries that were the result of using old skiing equipment or the wrong kind of shovel to shovel snow. Be sure to check your gear periodically to ensure that it is in proper working condition.

Keep these tips in mind when heading out in the cold weather this winter. Be sure to take extra care when walking and don’t overexert yourself.

Our Physical Therapy department can help you construct an exercise plan that is right to address your individual needs. Physical and Occupational Therapy services are offered at the Longmont and Lafayette locations. To schedule an appointment, call 720.494.4750.

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