Welcome to winter Central Illinois! Thinking back on the Blizzard of 2011, I was especially concerned for my patients who had to shovel out their driveways and sidewalks with all the ice underneath the snow. Although winter time falls are common, here are some tips to help brave those cold winter months injury free!
- Make sure that sidewalks and outdoor spaces have been salted or have had a de-icing treatment on them to prevent falls in the first place!
- When you injure something (ankle, foot, wrist, etc) in a fall, it is very important to perform PRICE therapy to the area:
- P - protect. For my feet and ankles, I recommend either a walking boot, ace bandage, or BOTH.
- R– rest. In order for an injury to fully heal, you need to stay off of it and REST for a minimum 24-48 hours….soft tissue injuries sometimes take up to 8-10 weeks to fully heal, so it is very important to rest them right away!
- I– ice. Placing an ice pack to an affected area for 10-15 minutes each hour will decrease the swelling to the area and can help speed up healing!
- C– compress. You need to wrap the area with an ace bandage or some sort of slight compressive device to minimize swelling.
- E– elevate. Elevation is especially important for FEET and ANKLES because it allows all that extra fluid to head back up to the heart and will minimize swelling and inflammation as well.
- Anti-inflammatory medication can be very helpful but you will want to check with your doctor prior to beginning any treatments that may interact with other medications!
- If you suspect a break of ANY kind (can’t move an area easily, doesn’t look/feel like is lined up, cannot bear weight/put pressure to the area), it is very important to see a doctor immediately! For my foot and ankle injuries, we offer same day appointments and digital xray to quickly check for any broken bones. We even have diagnostic ultrasound to check for ligament and tendon injuries as well! No matter what the issue, if you fall and are not able to get up and perform the above PRICE therapy easily at home RIGHT AWAY, head straight to Prompt Care/ER or your physician’s office!!