Preventing Slips & Falls on Ice &
Getting Treatment if You Fall

With slick sidewalks and driveways, some of us will have the unfortunate experience of a slip and fall on ice this winter that can cause injury to your neck or back. So what can you do to prevent these accidents and what course of action should you take if a slip on the ice results in a hurt back?

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    These Boots are Made for Walking

    The most effective way to prevent falling on the ice is to wear appropriate footwear. A good pair of snow boots not only helps keep your feet warm, but the rubber on the soles is often designed to provide more traction in slick conditions. These boots keep you far steadier than you would be in your average tennis or dress shoes. Also, if you do happen to lose your footing, calf- or knee-high boots will help keep you from rolling an ankle.

    If you don’t have snow boots, there are several traction devices available that fit over your shoes to provide extra grip for icy surfaces. Even if you do have snow boots, the extra traction may be helpful in really slick conditions.

    Walking with a Purpose

    While the extra traction of snow boots will help with solid footing, its not the only thing that can keep you on your feet. You should also adjust your gait and walking style for the icy conditions. Try taking shorter steps to start with and to land on as much of your foot as possible. Landing with your heel doesn’t provide as much contact between the rubber of your shoes and the ice, which often leads to lost traction and a painful fall. Landing with the flat of your foot after a small step provides maximum stability on icy surfaces.

    I Hurt Myself Falling on the Ice – Now what?

    Most of the injuries we sustain from slips and falls involve the deep muscles of our backs. For this type of pain, rest should be your first option. Over the next couple of days, try to take it easy on your back. If you feel able, try some gentle stretches to test your range of motion and the severity of your pain.

    If you experience any of the following, or your pain lasts more than a few days, call us for an evaluation. We can usually see you the same day you call.

    • Difficulty breathing or standing
    • Pain while sitting
    • Pain radiating down your leg when trying to straighten your knee
    • Risk factors such as osteoporosis

    Most injuries from slips and falls are caused by the twisting and wrenching of our backs as we try to catch ourselves during our fall. These injuries usually heal with time and rest, but be watchful for more serious symptoms. If you’re worried that you may have seriously hurt yourself, have a medical professional like our SpineOne doctors evaluate you for spinal injuries.