Avoiding Winter Injuries
There’s no way around it: winters in St. John’s are tough. Snow changing to freezing rain changing to hurricane-force winds makes for some slippery and hazardous conditions.
Unless you’re one of the lucky few with a getaway home in Florida, you’ll be encountering severe winter weather in St. John’s at some point. Here are some tips to avoid winter injuries.
1. Learn Proper Shovelling Technique To Avoid Winter Injuries
You’ve probably heard it before – lift with your legs, not with your back! Shovelling snow is one of the most common causes of back injury each year. Muscle strains are one of the most common forms of injury, and some people come away with more serious ailments…like a herniated disc.
But proper form is definitely necessary when you’re shoveling. You should always bend at your hips, rather than leaning over. Make sure you’re not shoveling overly heavy loads, and never throw the snow – rather, walk somewhere to deposit the snow. And yes, always lift with your leg muscles!
It’s also a good idea to invest in an ergonomic shovel with a curved handle and a lightweight blade.
2. Take Some Precautions as a Pedestrian
Slippery, unplowed sidewalks are often a topic of conversation around St. John’s each winter. Being a pedestrian can be extremely dangerous, especially if your sidewalks aren’t clear.
We suggest investing in simple grips for your boots, like Yaktrax. The right grips shouldn’t feel too clunky or too clumsy, and the extra grip is crucial. Nasty falls on the sidewalk could lead to broken bones and other serious injuries!
Evenly distributing your weight as you’re walking also helps. That’s why waddling along like a penguin works – you’re not putting all your weight and concentration on one side of your body, so you’re less likely to topple or slip. It might look goofy, but it works.
Just a reminder: if you’re able to salt or spread sand on your driveway or walkway, do so. Your postman or delivery person will thank you.
3. Protect Yourself While Being Active
Winter doesn’t tend to slow down the serious athletes (or the athletes in training), so what can you do to avoid winter injuries? For starters, a short warm-up is vital. Enjoy some light exercise and gentle stretching before heading out for a run, or a day of skiing (or however else you choose to enjoy those cold temperatures). Preparation is key.
If you’re a runner, avoid new terrain! Stick with what you’re familiar with – knowing where to avoid before you set out will help prevent accidental falls and injuries.
4. Know the ins and outs of Winter Driving
If you’re a driver in St. John’s, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with the tedium of winter driving. But humans are impatient by nature, and we’ll often take shortcuts to do things more quickly – like not properly defrosting a windshield, or not scraping snow off the back window. These things seem minor, but they’re important if your sightlines are blocked.
To avoid these winter injuries, make sure your vehicle is winter-ready before the first snowfall hits. It’s easy to procrastinate! When you’re driving on icy roads, brake gently and drive slowly. Winter tires are a must.
Car accidents in the winter months can be very serious – often more serious than most other winter-related injuries. Take care of yourself out there, and be prepared.
On that note, have some quick at-home fixes ready for those minor injuries! Ibuprofen can be used to treat aches and pains, as well as an ice compress or a heating pad (your choice). Warm baths are also a great option! But know when to seek help when you need it, and come to us for more serious injuries.
If you are injured and need assistance, please feel free to Contact Us.