Penguins Do It Best!

Ever wonder how penguins manage to do so well walking on ice? Notice their posture and below you will find tips to help you walk like a penguin and avoid falling this icy season. With the winter season officially here, Mother Nature must be confused as she has been sending snow and ice our way. The winter is when we often see and influx of patients whom have fallen and had resulting injuries that brings them to our practice. Below are tips and tricks to help you navigate the season safely.

  1. Walk flat footed. It is easy for our feet to slip out from underneath of us when we are in the toe off and heel strike phase of our gait.
  2. Wear footwear that provides traction. A variety of versions of ice cleats for example include Yaktrax or STABILicers to be able to apply to your every day shoes and allow for grip and traction on the terrain. Wearing dress shoes outside including heels, fashion boots, and boat shoes can often lead to increased risk of falling due to the texture of the soles of the shoes.
  3. Keep your center of gravity over your front foot and your arm extended when walking.
  4. Use caution when ascending and descending stairs and make sure your center of gravity is over your front foot.
  5. Use your arms for balance and if there is a railing near by use it with caution.
  6. Keep your knee lose, locking your knees restricts your ability to maintain you balance.
  7. Walk on designated paths. Of course paths often go uncleared or unsalted and can often be the slickest.
  8. Use caution when entering and exiting your vehicle. Many times when you are getting out of the vehicle your center of gravity is back resulting in your front foot to slip out in front of you. Use your car as a supportive device to help you enter and exit your car.
  9. Be prepared to fall. Avoid using outstretched arms to brace your fall. This can often lead to broken bones and tears in the shoulder musculature. If you unfortunately do fall bend your back and head forward to avoid head injury.
  10. Slow Down. It is the new year, with resolutions a constant topic, slowing down can be a frequent one. One of the reasons to slow down during the icy season is to reduce fall risk. If we slow down we will be much safer when navigating tricky surfaces.

These 10 helpful tips can reduce your fall risk during the winter season. Please give us a call with any questions, 815-223-4479.