35 Chesswood Road
Tel 01903 230066
Winter is here so watch your step!
Winter is now here in more ways than one. Icy and slippery roads and pavements can be hazardous. When we start being cautious trying to stop ourselves from falling we often start changing the way we walk putting undue strain on the legs and the back. So, what can you do to minimise the impact (hopefully not literally!)?
Have two pairs of shoes
One pair should be warm and sturdy with raised treads suitable for outdoor winter conditions. It is even better to have supportive lace up ankle boots. Wellies are generally not great as they rarely offer sufficient support.
The other pair should be lighter and more suitable for wearing indoors and for driving.
For icy conditions you can buy snap-
Keep your feet warm
Cold and numb feet cannot feel what is going on and are therefore poor at reacting to changing surface conditions increasing the risk of a slip or a fall.
Wear appropriate clothing -
Dressing to look like the Michelin man may offer warmth but little flexibility. You
need to be both warm and able to move freely and naturally to prevent you from falling
Treat winter walking as a sport. Train for it and be ready to react to your environment.
At home, practise standing on one leg, walk on a trampoline or use a rocker or a wobble board. All help to improve your balance.
Your arms are great balancing poles so keep your hands out of your pockets when you are out. Wear gloves instead.
Watch out for areas left in the shade. They are more likely to be slippery.
Stay in the present
Do not go out when your concentration is compromised. So avoid alcohol and recreational drugs, which not only affect your balance but also your approach to risks and your appreciation of the cold. Be careful if you are on medication prone to making you feel drowsy. Stay indoors if you are ill.
If you do fall
Stiff items break easier than flexible ones. So try and stay relaxed, curl up and roll with the fall. It is instinctive to try and break the fall by sticking out your hand but this often causes nasty wrist fractures, so try and avoid doing so.
We hope that these pointers help you getting safely through the winter. However, should you still manage to hurt yourself, you know that we can help your recovery.