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Winter is filled with so many fun outdoor activities, including ice skating, sledding, winter sports, skiing, and snowboarding. Many people consider winter one of the year’s most exciting seasons! Unfortunately, with winter comes snow and ice, and the risk of orthopedic injuries increases during this time of year. Therefore, it’s important to note some tips to help you avoid injury this winter season. 

Walk with Caution
It’s easy to overlook how slippery sidewalks and pavement can be. Ice patches can be hidden, so walking carefully and cautiously is vital to avoid sudden slips and falls. To prevent this, you should:

  • Wear shoes with proper traction. Having a pair of non-slip shoes or boots during the winter is a great way to prevent slips.
  • Walk slowly on slippery surfaces, and don’t turn suddenly.
  • Use railings when going up or down stairs.
  • Wipe off your feet when you enter a building to avoid slipping on the floor inside.

Avoid Winter Chore Injuries
Although the winter snow is beautiful while falling, snow can become a big chore when it accumulates. Injuries can occur when putting your body through rigorous repetitive actions such as shoveling the driveway or scraping ice off your windshield. These tasks can be hard on your muscles and lead to aches and pain. Follow these tips to help you avoid injuries:

  • If you suffer from chronic back pain, consider other options for snow removal, such as using a snowblower, asking a neighbor for help, or paying for a snow removal service.
  • Use proper posture and techniques while shoveling snow; bend your knees when lifting the shovel rather than bearing all the weight with your back.
  • Wear warm, water-repellant gear with gloves and a hat to cover your ears.

Winter Sports
Winter sports like skiing and snowboarding are common fun winter activities. However, no matter how experienced you are in the sport, there is still a high risk of injuries if you are not careful. Here are a few tips to help you avoid injury on the slopes:


  • Consider taking lessons with a professional instructor before participating.
  • Never do any winter sports alone in case of an emergency.
  • Drink enough water to stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Watch the weather for severe conditions or drops in temperature.
  • Do some warm-up exercises to prepare your muscles and ligaments for the cold.
  • Wear proper gear, including protective padding, gloves, hats, snow pants, helmets, and goggles.

While these risks are no reason to stop having fun during winter activities, keeping these tips in mind is essential to prevent injury. In the unfortunate event that you become injured, it’s equally important to receive treatment as soon as possible. Consider visiting one of our Urgent Injury Clinics in West Des Moines or Ankeny to get seen as quickly, or request an appointment with one of our specialists here. No matter the case, we are dedicated to providing the best possible care for our patients and want to help you get back to living!


*Disclaimer: The content of this blog is for informational purposes only. Please consult your healthcare professional for any medical questions. While we make every effort to ensure the information we share is accurate, we welcome comments, suggestions, or corrections of errors. This blog should not be used in any legal capacity whatsoever, including but not limited to establishing a “standard of care” in legal sense or basis for expert witness testimony. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy of any statements or opinions made on this blog or website. In no way does listening, reading, emailing, or interacting on social media with our content establish a doctor-patient relationship. This blog is not medical advice. If necessary, please seek treatment immediately*

Holly Birkey

DMOS Urbandale Now Open! Visit Our Walk-In Urgent Injury Clinic ORBook an Appointment Online
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