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
- 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.
- Don’t lock your knees. Keep them a bit bent so that your center of gravity is just a bit lower to the ground.
- 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.
- 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.