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Don’t Slip! Tips from a Spine Surgeon on How to Safely Navigate the Ice this Winter

Authored by Dr. Thomas Schuler, MD, FACS, FAAOS. February 18, 2021

There are ‘snow days off’ from winter weather here on the east coast. But you can prepare yourself for the hazards of the ice and snow to protect yourself from injury and even landing in the hospital. 

While the weather this week has kept most of us inside, once it’s time to break out of the house again, the chances of slipping and falling are high. In fact, a large number of the patients I see in the winter (and all year) are direct results of injuries from slipping and falling and injuring their spine.

Taking a chance outside in freezing temps is necessary for some of us, myself included. Whether you’re out walking a pet, going to work before the sun warms up the ground, or just trying to stay up with your new year’s resolutions and get your 10,000 steps per day–the risk of falling on the ice is potential for disaster.

When you head outside to endure the icy conditions, here are three ways you can prevent a serious fall or injury:

  1. If you feel like you are about to fall, bend your knees to reduce the distance of the fall
  2. Try to fall to the side of your body to prevent any severe back or tailbone injuries, or direct injury to your face and head
  3. Don’t put your arms straight in front of you. Cross your arms over your chest to protect your midsection and prevent breaking an arm

If you find yourself skating on ice in an unenjoyable way, don’t be embarrassed. It happens to all of us–trust me. And if you are injured from a fall and experience back or neck pain, give my team a call to set up a consultation.

Dr. Thomas Schuler is a world-renowned, double board certified spine surgeon; trained in both neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery of the spine. He founded Virginia Spine Institute in 1992 and is a recognized international leader in the treatment of neck and lower back conditions. Dr. Schuler is noted among the 100 best spine surgeons in America, and serves as President of the National Spine Health Foundation as well as Chairman of its Medical and Scientific Board. Learn more about Dr. Schuler. 

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About The Author

Dr. Thomas Schuler, MD, FACS, FAAOS

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