BY DR. LISA GOODMAN, DC, CCSP, CACCP
Surviving winter goes beyond staying warm and dry. Injuries occur during the winter months for several reasons including slippery conditions, shoveling, winter sports and believe it or not, decorating. Check out our quick and handy guide to keep you injury-free this winter.
The last several years in Denver have provided us with several large, infrequent snowfalls. This means you may find yourself shoveling large amounts of snow periodically. It is important to clear your walk ways within 24 hours after snow stops falling (per Denver code). It is especially important to follow these rules if you live on a North-facing sidewalk or one that doesn’t get enough sun to melt it, otherwise it will turn into a dangerous, icy mess. Shoveling Tip 1: Use a snowblower, this is much better on your body and faster too. Tip 2: Take your time. Shoveling large amounts of heavy snow can take a while. Take breaks, enlist the help of your kids. Tip 3: Use your core, legs and arms. Keep your back stiff and upright. Lifting snow in an actively engaged body will leave you less sore and less likely to get injured. Tip 4: Push snow to the sides of the walk rather than lifting it.
Decorate Without Injuring Yourself
Homes and yards strewn in glowing lights really marks the holiday season. They are especially lovely during these early, dark evenings post daylight savings time. However, hanging holiday lights poses a huge threat for bodily injury! Tip 1: Hire a professional. Many roofing and landscape companies have the manpower and proper equipment to hang your lights and take them down after the New Year. Tip 2: If you do not have professional help, be sure to keep your lights hanging low and/or use proper safety equipment Tip 3: Don’t work alone, be sure you have a capable buddy when using a ladder or power tools.
When it is slippery outside as happens a lot in Denver, take the time to wear boots with good grip on the bottom and change your shoes when you get to your destination. The risk of slipping and seriously injuring yourself is not worth the time it takes to change your shoes.
Shoveling snow and slip-and-falls are two of the most common injuries we see at Washington Park Chiropractic in the winter so it really pays to be patient and careful this season.
Ergonomic Gift Guide:
Posture Brace – For a great posture brace for every budget, check out the Posture Corrector from BraceAbility at around $29.99.
Posture Gadget – If you’d like posture help from a cool little gadget, check out the Posture Coach from Lumo that vibrates if you slouch at around $79.99.
Neck Pillow – The Cervipedic neck support provides traction, relief and relaxation in a car, on a plane or in your own bed at around $59 (available at Wash Park Chiro).
Standing Workstation – IKEA and several other brands have easily adjustable desks to vary your work from sitting to standing for as low as $200.
For the Kids: Ipod/ipad cases that have a stand, headphones, ergonomic backpacks.