winter-boots-preventing-fallsFor some of us, winter is the season of beautiful snow falls that coat the trees and ground giving everything a fresh, powdery, dream-like look. But winter can also be treacherous. We’ve all seen someone slip and fall on a patch of ice, and may have even fallen ourselves. Extremely cold temperatures mixed with snow, ice, rain and sleet increases the risk of serious injury as a result of slips and falls. To reduce your risk of falling, follow these safety tips for walking in snowy and icy conditions:

  • Walk slowly and deliberately and wear boots or other slip-resistant footwear.
  • Use handrails whenever possible.
  • Exercise caution when getting in and out of vehicles, using the vehicle to support you if necessary.
  • Try to avoid carrying items, or walking with your hands in your pockets when walking on a slippery surface; this can reduce your ability to maintain your balance or catch yourself if you lose your balance.
  • Practice balancing exercises. By improving your balance you can catch yourself and stop from falling.
  • Be prepared for black-ice formation after melting occurs. If there is ice, do the “shuffle” and take small baby steps. If you are on an incline coated with ice or snow, turn sideways and then step with the leading foot. Avoid crossing your feet which increases instability.


David J. BenEliyahu, DC, DAAPM, DABCSP is the Administrative Director of the Back & Neck Pain Center at Mather Hospital.

Attend a free seminar on the prevention and treatment of back and neck pain.