Winter is well upon us, and while most of us are looking forward to spring, winter may still have a few surprises up its sleeve for us. Whether we are partaking in winter sports, taking a walk through the neighborhood, or just trying to get ourselves and our families to and from school and work, there are a few tips to keep injuries at bay.
One of the most common hand injuries we see at this time of year is from slips and falls – the dreaded “fall on an outstretched hand.” This can result in a distal radius fracture that may require a cast or even surgery. Here are some tips to keep your footing and avoid common hand injuries at this time of year:
- Wear good footwear with thick soles and good traction
- Take your time when walking or driving – keep an eye out for icy patches and take short, careful steps while standing upright with good posture
- Use handrails as much as possible when going up or down stairs
- Shovel snow before it can become icy and even more dangerous – but watch your form! Take breaks, avoid bending and twisting with your back, and use your legs more than your arms
- If you are partaking in winter sports such as skiing or snowboarding, match your terrain with your skill level. Be honest with yourself! Take breaks throughout the day and make sure you are alert and well rested to tackle your activity safely.
If the unfortunate happens and you end up with a wrist or hand injury, don’t delay in seeking care from a hand specialist. Even if you are just having pain following an activity, your provider can refer you to a hand therapist, our team at the Milliken Hand Rehabilitation Center, to help reduce your pain and teach you ways to use your hands more safely.