Tips for Walking in Snow and Ice

1. Wear boots or shoes with textured soles. Avoid shoes that have smooth surfaces on the bottom.
2. Watch where you walk. Avoid dark and shiny patches. Walking on the snow will give you better traction.
3. Avoid being off-balanced by carrying things in your hands. Use a backpack if you are walking long distances and keep your hands out of your pockets so you can use them for balancing yourself.
4. Take small, quick, shuffling steps if you are walking through an icy spot and keep your weight slightly forward. It’s usually better to fall forward than it is to fall backwards.
5. Make sure you remove snow quickly from your steps or walk before it hardens and turns icy. Put some type of ice melt product down to ensure it won’t be slippery.
6. Avoid walking in shaded areas where ice tends to build up.

During the winter, physical therapists see many patients with injuries from falling on the ice. Thinking ahead and taking your time could prevent a lot of bruises, sprains and even fractures.

“I Slipped and Fell on Ice, What do I do?”

1. Carefully and slowly get up.
2. Use ice on sore muscles for 24 to 48 hours. If you continue to have discomfort, switch to heat after 48 hours.
3. Most muscle strains resolve in several days and or weeks. Consult your doctor if you have persistent severe pain that makes standing, walking, and or breathing difficult.
4. If pain persists for weeks, your doctor may send you to a physical therapist. A physical therapist can perform manual techniques to reduce muscle tightness and instruct you in a home exercise program to decrease your pain and difficulty with daily activities.

Please contact Harbor Physical Therapy, if you have fallen and require physical therapy or you are unsure how to proceed with medical care.