February 2014 Newsletter

February 2014 Newsletter

Slips, Whips and Falls – Taking Care In The Wintertime

As we’re gripped by the depths of winter, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of slips and falls on the ice and how to prevent them from occurring.

Here are a few tips and reminders to help you avoid falls:

Wear sensible footwear. Thick soled footwear with good grip is ideal, such as Wellington or heavy walking boots. High heeled shoes when walking on the icy or snowy ground should be avoided. If high heeled shoes are essential pack them in your bag and change into them when you arrive at your destination.

Take smaller steps and avoid rushing. Smaller steps allow you to maintain your body’s center of balance over your feet. To avoid rushing you may need to plan your journey, allowing extra time to negotiate the adverse conditions.

Try not to carry too much. You want to keep your arms and hands-free to make it easier to balance yourself. Use a bag that distributes weight evenly across the body, and keeps hands free, like a rucksack.

Utilize all your senses and concentrate! When wrapping up warm, ensure your cozy clothing does not compromise your hearing or vision. Lighting can also impede your vision and hide icy patches in your path so, if it can be helped, avoid going out in the dark or on poorly lit pathways.

Use railings and stable objects where possible. On outdoor steps and ramps, use rails provided.Also, when getting in and out of a car, take care and use the vehicle to stabilize yourself.

Remove as much snow and water from your footwear when you come inside. Be aware that floors indoors may be wet and slippery.

Stay healthy during the winter months. This is important in order to keep energy and strength up. This involves eating a healthy diet, keeping mobile and physically active, and getting enough Vitamin D. If you are confined to the house, you can still remain active by doing some exercise indoors, such as steps ups or climbing the stairs, shallow squats or marching on the spot.

Advice if falls do occur

Only if you feel sure you can get up safely, should you get up following a fall. Do so by taking slow, simple steps to get back onto your feet again. This involves getting onto your hands and knees first and then slowly to your feet, using the assistance of a firm and stable surface.

If you are unable to get up safely, try and attract attention by calling out for help. If medical assistance is required try and stays warm and comfortable while you wait. This may require someone putting warm coats over you.

Seek medical assistance immediately following a fall, you should always report a fall to your healthcare worker like your chiropractor, physiotherapist, or medical doctor. Sometimes complications from a fall may NOT manifest until some weeks after the fall has occurred, and it is better you get an assessment early. Due to the possibility of a concussion or internal bleeding to the brain, if you have hit your head during the fall, it is especially important to get an assessment as soon as possible.

Car Accidents

Due to poor road conditions during the winter months, we are at a higher risk of getting into a car accident. The most common injuries following a car accident occur to the upper spine and neck (also commonly referred to as whiplash). Common symptoms usually include joint pain, muscle pain, headaches, arm and leg pain.

Some people do not develop pain and stiffness for 7-10 days after the accident. This is not unusual and is most likely due to the after-effects of shock and adrenaline.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is an injury to the neck caused by the neck bending forcibly forward and then backward, or vice versa. The injury usually involves the muscles and ligaments of the neck.Most whiplash injuries are the result of a collision that includes sudden acceleration(increase in speed) or deceleration (decrease in speed). Many whiplash injuries occur when a person is involved in a rear-end automobile collision, or as a result of a sports injury, particularly during contact sports.

What are the symptoms of whiplash?

  • neck pain
  • neck stiffness
  • shoulder pain
  • low back pain
  • dizziness
  • pain in the arm and/or hand
  • numbness in the arm and/or hand
  • ringing in ears
  • blurred vision
  • concentration or memory problems
  • irritability
  • sleeplessness

Treatment for Whiplash

For mild to moderate severity of an injury, early treatment helps to ensure a full and quick recovery. However, for severe injuries, treatment for the neck may not be practical until a period of five to seven days has passed as the patient is in too much pain during the initial period.

Research indicates that successful whiplash treatment requires patient cooperation and active efforts to resume daily activity.

Although whiplash is the most common injury seen after a motor vehicle accident, we also treat a variety of other injuries resulting from an accident, including fractures, sprains, and strains of other body parts, and chest or knee contusions which result from impact with the steering wheel, dashboard or airbag.

Our team members at Edgar Family Chiropractic have in-depth training in treating injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents. We feel that it is of the utmost importance that an early return to usual activities takes place after a car accident and that prescribed rest should always be limited to a short duration. Most importantly, the patient with whiplash needs to be informed that usual activities may be temporarily painful but are not harmful.

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