With our New York winter upcoming, it is important to be extra cautious. This time of year, we find a lot more patients scheduling appointments at our Physical Therapy in Sheepshead Bay practice, many dealing with broken bones and sprained ankles due to the snow. Thankfully, there are simple ways to help avoid a bad fall during the winter months.
Proper Snow Footwear
Footwear is something so simple but a lot of people don’t realize or know about what kind of footwear you should be wearing in the icy/snowy months.
There is actually a difference between snow boots and winter boots. Winter boots are designed with your warmth in mind, like your super fuzzy and cute Ugg boots. Snow boots are heavier in weight and designed for people who plan to be spending a lot of time out in the snow. If you plan on spending a lot of time out in the snow, you should think about getting durable snow boots. Factors that make a great snow boot are:
Outsoles- The bottom of the shoe should also be made of waterproof material and have a good grip to them.
The right height for you- The boot should extend at least above your ankle so that snow and water are not getting inside the boot.
Function- It is sometimes hard to find a cute yet also functional shoe depending on how much money you are willing to spend. In this case, function should be above cute.
Security and size- Picking the right size shoe for your snow boot is very important especially if you are going to be very active in them. You also have to think about what kind of socks you will be wearing with the boot, and may decide to go up a size.
I am sure that you have heard the term frostbite many times and have told your kids, “don’t stay out in the snow too long, you’ll get frostbite!” Our Physical Therapy in Sheepshead Bay practice knows that frostbite is a very real thing, and has the potential of becoming very serious if the proper precautions are not taken.
Frostbite is the freezing of the skin and it’s tissues underlying. It starts with your skin feeling cold and turning red, then numb, then becoming very hard, then turning pale. If your skin blisters after warming up, this could be a sign of frostbite.
To prevent frostbite you can:
Limit your time outdoors in the very cold weather
Layer up! Keeping your skin dry is significant in avoiding frostbite.
Cover your ears! Frostbite is common in the ears because many people don’t wear hats that cover or keep their ears warm. Earmuffs are a good choice.
Keep an eye out for early warning signs of frostbite
Do not drink alcohol before going outside, which will cause your body temperature to drop quicker.
Snow Shoveling Safety Tips
If you are the one who goes outside on the snow days and shovels, like many of us here at our Physical Therapy in Sheepshead Bay practice, here are a few tips to keep you safe:
Warm up before you go outside. At this point, your muscles will be ready to go and won’t be in shock from the sudden hard work.
Keep your load light. Instead of straining your back or neck trying to pick up a heavy load, it’s safer to keep your load light.
Take breaks. Don’t wear yourself out in one shot. If you take little breaks in between, you will have more energy when you are doing the shoveling and it could even take you less time to do.
If you have history of heart disease, stroke, or are in bad physical condition, DO NOT shovel. You can always get a snowblower.
If you have any further questions or concerns, feel to contact us.