Accessibility View Close toolbar

801 Twelve Oaks Center Dr., Suite 810

Wayzata, MN 55391 USA

952-475-4080

Preventing winter falls

By David Freidson | Posted: Monday, January 19, 2015 4:00 pm

“The highest function of a specialty is to prevent that which it treats,” Jan Jirout, MD (1956).

I’ve been treating a lot of slips and falls lately, and I thought it timely to write a column on preventing them.

In movies and TV shows, falling often produces snickering — but falling is no laughing matter. According to the CDC, 17,000 people die each year due to slips and falls.

Some other interesting statistics on falling:

1 in 3 people over 65 fall each year.

Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries.

8.9 million visits to the emergency room each year are due to falls.

Falls are the leading cause of non fatal medically treated injuries in the US.

29 percent of work comp cases in MN are due to slips and falls.

5 percent of falls cause bone fractures.

20-30 percent of falls cause injury.

There is a good example in the animal kingdom of how to walk on ice and slippery surfaces: the penguin. Walking like a penguin is what is taught to prevent falls — feet pointed out to the side, head up, short shuffling steps and arms out to the side.

Try not to carry much, if anything, in your hands when you know you’re going to be walking outside. If you bring a briefcase to work, one with a strap you can put over your shoulder is best, and a backpack is better yet.

Many falls happen getting out of a car. When exiting a vehicle it is important to have a 3 point contact: both hands on the car and one foot out, for example, then both feet on the ground and one hand on the car.

Try to wear slip resistant shoes. If you only wear dress shoes at work, keep them at the office and wear boots while commuting. If you can’t leave your shoes at work then put a rubber-over shoe on top of the shoe. “Gripper shoes” give great traction and are good to wear even if you’re not going far, but have a steep driveway and have to go down to get the paper or mail.

Know that even though you’ve made it inside, you’re still vulnerable to slipping. The entrances of buildings and homes are often wear falls occur.

You may not be prone to slips and falls, but that doesn’t mean people coming to your home or workplace aren’t. And it is often on you if someone falls at your home or place of work. So make sure you clear off snow as quickly as you can and apply deicer as needed.

Remember, if you’re in a hurry a fall is going to slow you down a lot more than the increased time it takes to be a bit cautious.

Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do about falling in the winter. If you have pain afterward, get checked out by a doctor. I treat people who have injuries due to falling every day, and I’d be happy to assess you.

Dr. David Freidson is a licensed chiropractor and works out of the Synergy Health & Rehabilitation office in Wayzata. To learn more, visitwww.synergyhealthmn.com or call (952) 475-4080.

Sign-up using the form or call us at 952-475-4080

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

7:00 am-6:30 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am-4:00 pm

Wednesday:

7:00 am-6:30 pm

Thursday:

9:00 am-4:00 pm

Friday:

7:00 am-6:30 pm

Saturday:

By Appointment Only

Sunday:

By Appointment Only

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonials

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "Staff is always friendly. Dr Dave always asks (and listens!) how I am doing and adjusts my treatment as needed. He is great about letting me know what I can expect from treatments and has referred me to a sleep center and a neurologist for symptoms he felt could be better addressed by them. Best of all, he was right. The combination treatments have me feeling better than I have in years."
    Lisa M.

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

  • The 5 Senses

    The 5 Senses The five senses, that is, the sense of sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell, provide us with necessary information regarding the world around us.1 These precious capabilities enable us to navigate our environment with seemingly instantaneous feedback with reference to our actions and ...

    Read More
  • The Benefits of Sleep for Adults

    Obtaining sufficient restful sleep is an essential requirement for optimal human productivity. Such a practice is a key component of a healthy lifestyle, which includes a nutritious diet, regular vigorous exercise, and a positive mental attitude. How much sleep one needs varies from person to person. ...

    Read More
  • Back to School and Mental Wellness

    Summer is a subjectively fleeting season and school days are upon us once again. For children, this bittersweet time marks the completion of a period of relative freedom and the beginning of a new set of responsibilities. For adults, the onset of late summer and early fall signals yet another turn of ...

    Read More
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries

    A repetitive motion injury (or overuse injury) involves doing an action over and over again, as with a baseball pitcher throwing a baseball, a tennis player hitting a tennis ball, typing at a computer keyboard, and most notoriously, typing with your thumbs on the tiny keypad of your phone. It may be ...

    Read More
  • Left-Handers Day

    Left-Handers Day Left-Handers Day, celebrated on August 15th, was launched in 1992 by the Left-Handers Club, an organization based in the United Kingdom. Since then, Left-Handers Day has become a worldwide event and social media phenomenon. Around the world, approximately one in ten persons is left-handed. ...

    Read More
  • Peak Experiences

    Peak Experiences The American philosopher and naturalist Henry David Thoreau roamed far and wide over the hills and mountains of his native Massachusetts and neighboring New Hampshire. In his masterwork, "Walden," Thoreau famously stated that we must "reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical ...

    Read More
  • Dynamic Warm-ups

    In a common occurrence, you bend over to pick up the pencil you inadvertently dropped on the floor. Or you bend over to pick up the soap bar that has slipped through your fingers in the shower. Or you bend over to lift a bag of groceries out of your automobile trunk. These are all daily events. But on ...

    Read More
  • Summer Sports

    Summer Sports In the summertime, everyone's thoughts turn to the outdoors. We want to get out in the sun and have some fun. Some people do exercise outdoors, such as running, walking, and biking, all year long regardless of the weather.1 For others, summer's warmer temperatures make activity outside ...

    Read More
  • Wellness Gardens

    Wellness Gardens When time is spent in an office or indoors day in and day out, some can lose that connection to the outside world. And that loss of connection can lead to higher stress levels and more health ailments without even realizing it. But when that the gap between office life and outdoor life ...

    Read More
  • Smart Shoulders

    Our shoulder joints have the greatest range of motion of any of the musculoskeletal joints in our bodies. The shoulder joint is really two joints, the glenohumeral joint between the arm bone (humerus) and the shoulder blade (scapula) and the acromioclavicular joint between the acromion (a bony projection off the scapula) and the collarbone (clavicle). The glenohumeral joint is a ball-and-socket joint and the acromioclavicular joint is a gliding joint. ...

    Read More

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Sign up for more articles