Think Twice and Avoid Injury this Winter

As winter in Michigan is upon us, our lives tend to get busy with the various tasks of the season. While the days of gardening and yard work are behind us until next year, we now have snow to shovel and icy pavement to worry about. We may be spending our days carrying boxes and bags of holiday decorations up and down the stairs, or climbing ladders to hang lights on the roof. Some of this work may have seemed light in the past, but now we are a year older and tasks that were once easy may come with new challenges.

As you go about your activities this winter, be mindful of the positions you put yourself in and the stresses you place on your body as you lift and carry heavy boxes or shovel a night’s worth of snow. Shoveling snow is a repetitive activity that often involves lifting and twisting. Whether you are lifting boxes or a shovel full of snow, remember to use proper lifting mechanics. Lift with your legs instead of your back, and keep the load close to your body. Try taking small steps to turn while you carry heavy items rather than twisting your torso. Instead of carrying everything at once, make a second trip to keep the load lighter. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help! At the end of the day, it is much better to ask for help rather than risk an injury.

A few other tips as you go about the hustle and bustle of the winter season:

  1. Watch your step on the stairs and pavement and give yourself a little more time to get out of the house in the morning to avoid a slip and fall on the ice.
  2. Be mindful of your balance on step stools and ladders as you get your home ready for parties with family and friends.
  3. Take breaks during activity to avoid overuse. Remember, winter is also the perfect time for warm tea and hot cocoa!

Even when you are doing your best to be careful and avoid injury, accidents do happen. We at HJPT are here to help. Come on in to any of our 14 convenient locations for a free 15-minute consultation to learn how physical therapy can help with your winter aches and pains. Find the location nearest to you here!

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Kristen Brinker