Winter Bone Health
Winter Bone Health
Winter in the deep South doesn’t bring quite the same ferocity it does up north, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t bring inconveniences of its own. While we might not have ice and snow on a regular basis, we still have plenty of cold and damp to make winter occasionally uncomfortable and sometimes even treacherous.
Even the youngest and spryest among us may find themselves falling victim to the challenges of everyday activities in winter. Beware and be aware of these wintry pitfalls:
Slipping on icy or wet surfaces
Walking during the winter can be tricky. We all make the effort to avoid thick, visible sheets of ice, but we may overlook thin sheets that resemble water. This can be especially challenging for older people, who may already have difficulty walking.
Depending on age and the nature of the fall, slipping frequently leads to hip injuries or – in the case of a slip that contorts the leg in an unnatural position – even severe ankle injuries. Falls can also cause wrist or hand injuries as a natural result of trying to brace against a fall. In the most severe cases, falls may even result in head injuries, stitches and a lengthy recovery.
Stay alert when walking during the winter, especially at night, when ice may appear to be regular pavement.
Whether you’re on a skiing trip with friends or hitting the local ice rink for a hockey game or some fun spins around the ice with the kiddos, cold-weather activities can bring their own possible injuries.
The same injury prevention principles for slipping and falling apply to winter sports. Navigating snowy and slippery areas make your back, wrists, and other body parts vulnerable to injuries. Moving at higher speeds also puts you at greater risk of crashing into a tree, a teammate or fellow skater.
Whether they’re recreational or organized, be sure to use protective gear whenever participating in winter sports.
Of course, while you can’t anticipate every possible injury that might befall you, you can take care of your health to lessen the impact of those injuries. Here are a few basic tips:
● Eat a nutritious diet with adequate calcium and vitamin D
● Get plenty of weight-bearing exercise
● Quit smoking (if you’re a current smoker)
● Loosen up tight muscles by stretching 8 to 10 minutes before and after exercise
● Move regularly throughout the day to stimulate blood flow to your extremities
● Incorporate resistance training to strengthen muscle and connective tissues
● Use handrails when possible
● Stay inside when it’s particularly slick, whether from ice or water
Don’t let the frigid weather or fear of injuries keep you from enjoying your favorite winter sports and activities. Take care of your overall health, listen to your body, and enjoy winter hobbies safely. If you’re not sure about your ability to navigate the winter weather – or if you’re concerned that you may have already injured yourself – visit an the team at DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine for a consultation.
Since 1972, the specialists at DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine have been committed to providing exceptional orthopaedic care through innovative techniques, quality services, patient communication, and education. With specialties ranging from general orthopaedics and physical therapy to sports medicine, joint replacement, and more, the doctors at DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine can provide local expert care for any orthopaedic disorder or injury and help put your life back in motion.