Health professionals urge caution, discuss common winter injuries

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — With the wintertime comes the inevitable slips, falls, twists, and turns.

The white snow cloaks the ground, and freezing rain essentially converts the concrete into ice rinks.

Since the icy mix can create potentially slippery slopes all the way to the emergency room, health leaders are reminding the public of some common injuries and unexpected dangers of the winter weather.

“One of the most common injuries we see during the winter is a slip and a fall onto outstretch wrists or what we call the FOOSH,” Dr. Ramsey Ellis, a hand surgeon with OSF HealthCare, said. “People fall, they fall onto their wrists and hands, and they sustain radius fractures.”

Ellis said these types of injuries can require medical operations to correct. In addition to walking slow and steady, she said one of the best ways to keep from taking the frigid tumble is to wear footwear with appropriate tread.

“And to on your own property make sure to shovel and salt or sand in order to avoid the build-up of slippery surfaces on your sidewalk, your front walk, and on your path to your vehicle,” Ellis said.

But professionals said even shoveling snow can be hazardous if not done correctly.

“During the winter we’re seeing an increase in low back injuries, especially after this last snowstorm,” Dr. Joseph Khairallah, owner of JSK Chiropractic, said.

He said when shoveling, he recommends using an S-shaped shovel and pushing the snow using your legs rather than using your back to lift the snow.

“The worst thing you can do is shovel and throw the snow over your shoulder,” Khairallah said. “That is absolutely the worst thing you can do, that twisting will cause an injury.”

He also said stretching and preparation are key before any labor-intensive action.

“Get that blood flowing and then go start an activity such as that,” Khairallah said.

Health leaders also urge bundling up good before going outside, as both hypothermia and frostbite can result in winter tragedies.

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