Loveland has experienced its first true Arctic blast of the year, and people are having to take extra care while navigating the roads and sidewalks of Northern Colorado. Hopefully you’ve taken the steps to prepare for frigid temperatures, and your shovel and salt bucket are ready. However, even if you’re prepared, that doesn’t mean everyone is, and as you walk down the sidewalk, you could encounter wet or icy patches that pose a slip-and-fall hazard. If you don’t notice the ice until it’s too late, you could end up on your back and in serious pain. At the Colorado Spine Institute (CSI), we can effectively treat your back pain and any spinal injury you may suffer during the winter season.
A Fall Can End in More Than Pain
Falling on the ice can be comical in movies and TV shows, but in reality, it can end in more than lower back pain. If you slip and fall, you could severely injure your back and cause damage to the spinal column. We covered traumatic spinal injuries in a previous blog, and all it takes is enough force on a certain vertebra or vertebrae to create a serious problem. Over-the-counter pain relievers may be enough to alleviate your discomfort, but if you’ve slipped or cracked a disc, an MRI or discogram may be necessary. If you experience trouble standing or walking following a fall on the ice, it’s important to see a spinal specialist as soon as possible. You may not experience any problems at first, but symptoms may show themselves after a few days.
Taking Proper Precautions
Even though you’re only responsible for the sidewalks in front of your house, you can take proper precautions to prevent slips and falls on your own property. Deicing and traction products such as salt or kitty litter can provide better footing on your steps and sidewalks, and clearing any standing water before it freezes again can help you avoid icy patches. What is often dangerous is a patch of ice that isn’t removed and then more snow accumulates on top of it, which hides the hazard from sight. It’s also important to wear shoes with proper traction, so when you encounter sidewalks that haven’t been properly cleared, you have a better chance of remaining upright. There are also accessories you can add to your shoes to give them better traction in the winter, and these products are ideal for elderly people who prefer to walk places rather than drive.
The risk of slipping and falling obviously increases in the winter, and at CSI, we want everyone to be safe during the cold and snowy season. If you’ve fallen and hurt your back, please make an appointment with us as soon as possible. Even if you think you’re fine, there could be underlying problems that have yet to show themselves. We want you to have the best chance at doing the things you want to do this winter, and not be slowed down by chronic back pain.