4 Tips to Prevent Falling on Snow and Ice

This time of year gets a little hectic for everyone who’s trying to work, shop, meal plan, cook, entertain friends and family, and pick up the kid at college who’s exhausted from semester’s-end exam overload. Doctors’ offices can experience overload this time of year, too. Snow is a-falling in the greater Cleveland area and with snowfall comes slippery surfaces – and people who fall down on them.

Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann, board-certified podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland, see all manner of foot and ankle injuries this time of year. Sprains are common, as are fractures, and running injuries. Many of these are a result of slippery sidewalks and driveways.

Accidents happen. But with a bit of forethought and determination, you can minimize your risk by following these tips:

4 tips to help prevent falling

  1. Get your core involved: imagine that your belly button is trying to connect with your spine. This will tighten the muscles in the center of your body – the core – which will help keep you stable on slick surfaces.
  2. Don’t lock your knees. Keep them a bit bent so that your center of gravity is just a bit lower to the ground.
  3. Shorten your stride. Take baby steps. It may help to shuffle your feet, keeping them on the ground at all times instead of picking them up and putting them down.
  4. Wear special cleats that go around your regular shoes. They act like chains or studs to help grip the ice.

What to do if you take a fall

  • Try not to brace your fall with your arms, which often leads to broken wrists.
  • If you can keep your wits about you, try to curl up into a ball and take the fall on your rear end.
  • Don’t get up right away. Take a moment to assess your body. Get to a warm, safe place, with help from someone around you, if possible.
  • If you can’t move or are in great pain, seek medical attention immediately.
  • If you have an injury to your feet or ankles, use the RICE method of treatment at home – rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If RICE doesn’t help or your pain gets worse after a couple of days, contact us as soon as possible at our office in Solon, OH. It’s our goal always to give you a prompt, accurate diagnosis and relief from your pain as soon as possible. Call on our highly trained, professional podiatry staff by making an appointment online or calling us at (440) 903-1041.