Have you ever seen a penguin fall? It’s a rare occurrence, as these birds have perfected the art of walking on ice. And while they may be cute to watch, we can also learn a thing or two from these tuxedo-clad birds when it comes to walking on icy surfaces this winter.
A slip and fall can result in a great amount of trauma to our bodies no matter how severe the fall may be. It can cause restrictions in the spine, as well as other pain and limitations in bones, joints, muscles and/or ligaments throughout the body. It’s not only important to seek care post fall, but to take the preventative steps in order to stop a fall from happening in the first place.
To keep you and your body safe during icy months, act like a penguin by following these tips when you’re caught on some slippery ground.
- Point your toes. Point your feet outward and spread your feet a bit wider apart than normal. This may seem a little odd, but it will help broaden your base.
- Take baby steps. Walk slowly and take short, shuffling steps while walking flat footed to prevent your heels from slipping out beneath you.
- Find your centre. Make sure your centre of gravity is over your feet, not behind, so lean slightly forward while walking.
- Look out below. Watch where you are stepping to avoid icy patches as best as possible.
- Lighten the load. Avoid carrying too much to alter your centre of gravity, and keep your hands free to help you balance
- Loosen your arms. Keep your hands out of your pockets for balance and make sure you’re wearing gloves or mitts to keep your hands warm.
Feeling silly? That probably means you’re doing it right! And a little bit of waddling sure beats the embarrassment and pain of a fall.
Often people don’t realize that catching yourself from falling can still cause an injury, even if you don’t have symptoms afterward. The unexpected slip and jarring motion can sometimes be worse than if you had fallen in the first place.
If you do fall (or come close to falling), it’s a good idea to check in with your chiropractor soon afterward. Pain symptoms can take a while to show up, and can become a bigger problem over-time. A quick visit is better than a long term treatment plan.