Forecast: Cold and Snow

This weekend promises more cold and potential winter weather. No surprise. It’s January! And while winter can be magical snow globe of the sparkly stuff and plenty of hot cocoa with the ever-present promise of a snow day for both kids and kids-at-heart), it also can also increase the risk of physical injury for the young, the old, and the in-between. Cold, snow, and ice of the season bring a myriad potential problems.

Everyday Activities

Ice-covered sidewalks, driveways, stoops, and subway stairs leave all of us more vulnerable to falling. The frequent pattern in NYC of daytime melting and nighttime re-freezing makes things worse. For seniors whose skeletal and muscular systems are more brittle and vulnerable, the consequences of a winter fall can be catastrophic. Some of the most common injuries are bone fractures of the wrists, arms, or hips; shin splints; pulled muscles; head trauma; back and spinal injuries from shoveling; and driving accidents, a risk compounded by ice and reduced visibility. Prevention can make a world of difference, so wear shoes with traction; clear ice before it solidifies and help elderly neighbors with their sidewalks; walk deliberately & keep your phone in your pocket (distracted walking causes accidents, too!); dress in layers; maintain your tires and avoid driving in bad weather.

Winter Sports

From ice hockey to downhill skiing, the intensity of popular winter sports presents a serious risk of injury. Add the presence of ice and it gets even more likely. Some of these sports are skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and ice skating. Some of the injuries are fractures, breaks, sprains, strains, and dislocations. There are also plenty of prevention techniques, including warming up before a winter sport to mitigate the effect of cold on muscles and wearing all recommended protective gear (helmets, goggles, padding etc).

To keep your body in tip-top winter shape OR to help with one of these winter injuries, book a massage or acupuncture at Element and let us help you!