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Posted on 01-25-2016

Avoiding Slip and Fall Injuries While Walking On Snow and Ice

As a Baltimore Chiropractor that spends most of my time treating headaches, neck pain, and back pain, one of the more common causes of these injuries that I come across is slips and falls. Whether those be slips and falls that occur at a business or whether someone falls down their stairs or slips on a side walk, we see a lot of traumatic injuries. It is often said that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." While the staff at Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic would be happy to take care of you if you are injured due to a slip and fall injury in Baltimore, we would rather you avoid these injuries in the first place. They often take weeks if not months to completely recover from, so it is best that they be avoided if at all possible. Here are some tips to keep in mind in order to help minimize or prevent Baltimore slip and fall injuries:

1. Wear appropriate clothing - Where boots or footwear that provide for appropriate traction. Remember, function is more important than style! Consider wearing a heavy coat not only to keep you warm but to cushion your fall should you fall down. Consider wearing sunglasses during the day to help cut down on blinding sunlight reflecting off of the snow and ice. Whenever possible where reflective clothing to help alert other drivers and walkers to your presence.

2. Always assume there is black ice - Never rush while walking and always assume that whether you can see it or not that there is black ice under your feet. This will prevent you from rushing. Always walk in designated areas and use hand rails whenever possible.

3. Keep your hands out of your pockets - While it is cold we tend to keep our arms close by our side. We should avoid this and keep our arms out to brace ourselves if we fall. I would much rather cushion my fall with my hands/arms than to hit my head on a side walk and get a concussion!

4. When getting into and out of vehicles - Use the vehicles for support. Transitioning between levels (sidewalk versus a car or van) can be tricky and injuries usually occur when changing surfaces.

5. Take short steps - Although it looks silly, always take short steps and shuffle your feet. This prevents you from building up too much momentum that may make it harder to stop down the road.

6. Beware of overhead hazards - As ice and snow melts from homes and businesses it is not unusual for large sheets of ice to come crashing down. These can cause serious injury. So, as always, be aware of your surroundings.

A winter coating of snow and ice can be a great break from the daily grind and it can be a lot of fun to take a day or two away from work to be with friends and family. However, there are many potential hazards around each corner. My best advice is to take plenty of time when getting from one place to another and to be careful. Should the unthinkable happen and you injure yourself in a slip and fall accident, please contact Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic at (443) 842-5500. We would be happy to help!

Dr. Gulitz

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