Home > Uncategorized > How to Prevent Slips and Falls in NYC

How to Prevent Slips and Falls in NYC

At Living Well Medical we’ve definitely noticed the extreme weather conditions this winter, and its been one of the worst on record for New York City, and definitely the worst that we can recall for the past few years. Its not just the piles of snow that are collecting on every sidewalk, but this year, the amount of ice and slippery slush have been unreal. The ice can contribute to a host of injuries ranging from simple bruises to more serious injuries like sprains and broken tail bones. Some injuries may require rest ice and some rehabilitation, while other may require more thorough diagnostic care like X-rays.

As a physical therapist Lisa Corey DPT. sees tons of patients coming in throughout the winter season with sprained ankles, wrists, and sore backs. It’s not too surprising to find that a common cause of injury is from slipping on ice! Although we can’t avoid all the snow that has been affecting the NYC area, there are ways to prevent slips and falls and the resulting injuries.

The first line of defense against the snow can take place before you even go outside, by wearing proper footwear. Avoid shoes with heels or smooth soles and wear boots or shoes that provide proper traction for the weather. This way you are less likely to slip!

Once outside you can use your own body mechanics to help avoid a fall. Walk with a wider base of support, keeping your toes pointing outward and your knees slightly bent, this keeps your body in a state of readiness and makes it easier for your center of gravity to re center and react to the sudden changes of walking on an unstable, slippery surface.

It will also help to keep your arms out at your sides and out of your pockets to stabilize your upper body, almost like walking on a tight rope. This way, your arms are also available to help catch and ease your fall in case you find yourself on a slippery sidewalk. It also helps protect your face and head from hitting the ground if your hands aren’t stuck inside your pockets.

There are also a few simple tips to follow when walking, take short steps or even shuffle for better stability.

Stay alert, pay attention to asphalt conditions so you won’t be surprised by things like black ice, and you will be better able to react and control yourself when dealing with a very slippery surface. Your body is better able to react to unstable conditions when it has more proprioceptive feedback, so you’re less likely to slip when you can also see and anticipate instability.

Stay loose, try not to shrug your shoulders up and tuck your chin in, it might keep you a bit warmer, but a relaxed posture is better at dealing with shifting/ slippery surface conditions.

Pack properly, make sure you carry all your stuff in the proper bags, a backpack will allow you proper use of your arms and bulky handbags and purses can be awkward to carry and can end up adding to the challenge of walking around on slippery surfaces.

If you do end up getting hurt from a fall or accident, it’s often a good idea to seek proper treatment, weather its knee pain from landing on your knees, or if you’ve thrown your back out shoveling the driveway, it’s been a nasty winter and it looks like it may get worst. Slips falls or overuse injuries can become chronic if untreated, and can be very debilitating and painful, like sciatica, or herniated cervical or lumbar discs.

Getting proper treatment form a qualified medical practitioner can mean a faster recovery, less pain, and for certain people it can mean avoiding painful and invasive surgery. This has been one of New York City’s worst winters, but it doesn’t have to lead to chronic painful conditions. If you’re suffering from pain and discomfort, no matter what the cause of the injury, Living Well Medical has a vast array of experts and techniques that can help reduce pain and speed up the body’s natural healing process using integrated, non invasive techniques.

Living Well Medical is located at 632 Broadway, in the Tribeca/ SOHO area of New York City.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. February 2, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Wow…I can’t believe all the snow in NYC this year. For sure it creates more physical and mental stress…and more potential for injury. Thanks for the tips Dr. Shoshany.

  1. February 2, 2011 at 7:02 pm

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