Monday, January 7, 2008

Oops! Watch Your Step!

Falling! It’s part and parcel of this time of year. Whether you are someone who spends winter outdoors or not, maneuvering through the snow and ice, is a fine art. We always see a lot of injuries at this time of year.

Obviously, you want to prevent a fall in the first place. You can review many practical suggestions in our previous blog on fall prevention. Getting physically strong in the first place takes planning and hard work. Perhaps working on balance and strength training might be part of your list of resolutions. And then, there’s the common sense stuff. Like wearing the right footwear, parking where there is some clear pavement, and using something to steady yourself, the arm of a friend or a cane maybe. If you use a cane or crutches, you will want to have the cane ice tip, a retractable tool that attaches to the bottom of your cane. When you go out into the weather, you simply pull the tip down. It covers the regular tip with a set of metal teeth that grip into ice and snow, providing much needed traction on slick surfaces.

If you have taken a spill, though, be sure to take care of it right away. Last year we saw record numbers of leg and ankle sprains and breaks. When this happens you want ice packs, supports, cast covers, things to make you comfortable while you heal. You may not have heard yet about the Rolleraid, the unique alternative to crutches. It’s a walker of sorts that you rest your knee on, leaving your casted lower leg or injured ankle free to rest while staying elevated to promote healing. This thing gives you mobility again. Roam the halls of work or the mall easily. You can steer it, brake it, fold it to fit in your car. Ours even has a water bottle holder and a basket! Also, if you ever have had to use crutches for any period of time, you can just imagine the relief of the Rolleraid. No more sore underarms!

Tell us about your winter experiences! Have you had a recent break or sprain? If so, how did you handle the comfort issues in particular? We’ll share your list of ideas in a later blog.

No comments: