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Winter Injury Prevention Tips from a Physical Therapist

Especially here in Minnesota, winter comes whether we’re ready or not. And with winter, comes snow, ice, and cold weather. When you head out to shovel, make sure you dress warm and in layers. Some of us end up bundling up but get hot once we start working and shed our coat. Bad idea! Dressing in layers can help you shed piece by piece when you start to get too warm, without ditching your coat altogether. Remember, dressing warm will keep your muscles warm, which will help prevent strain or unnecessary tension. Also, make sure you wear proper footwear. Don’t head out in regular tennis shoes or dress shoes. Treaded, warm boots help support your feet and body and will give you better traction if it is icy. Another good rule of thumb is to do some stretching before you go outside to loosen your muscles and warm them up. Warm muscles work more efficiently and are less likely to be injured. Our last piece of advice is shovel early and often. Newly fallen snow is lighter and easier to move than when it is wet and packed down. When you shovel, push the snow rather than lift it. Click here to listen to Dominic Turner, Physical Therapist, discuss common winter injuries and the best ways to prevent them.

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