When winter weather arrives, it’s time to protect yourself from the hazards that can accompany the cold. Slips, trips, and falls are more frequent due to icy conditions. Back injuries from falling on ice are likely to occur. Need some help to avoid this or advice on what to do if it does happen- Yost Family Chiropractic can help!
How Common are Back Injuries From Falling On Ice?
According to the National Institutes of Health, back injuries from falling on ice were the most common fall related injury, outnumbering ankle, wrist or hip injuries. With statistics like that, avoiding falls becomes a top priority! Almost all back injuries involve strains of the deep muscles of the back. An acute injury refers to something that happens suddenly and gets better over time, whereas a chronic injury is a long-term condition. Following a fall, you should keep track of your pain level, because that if it goes above and beyond general aches and pains you may need imaging to rule out a fracture. The spine is a complex structure that provides both mobility and strength to your body. When there is an injury to the spine such as a fall, common activities such as bending, twisting or stretching often become painful.
What to do after falling on your back?
Most acute back injuries should get better within a few days. If the pain persists longer than that, you should be evaluated by your chiropractor or a physician right away. If you fall on your back and experience severe pain that makes breathing or standing difficult, you should have a thorough examination by a chiropractor immediately. A thorough evaluation will reveal any specific structural problem like a misalignment or nerve irritation, which we can correct. Adjustments are used in conjunction with a basic exercise program focusing on stretching, strengthening, and conditioning of the back and leg muscles. For those who have risk factors like thinning of the bones or osteoporosis, a fall on ice might pose a serious threat. If you fit this category, use extreme caution when traveling outdoors in icy conditions.
Three Tips for Preventing Ice Related Falls
Implement the following tips for a safer winter:
- Wear appropriate footwear. Soles that are sturdy and grip the ground will give you stability.
- Keep sand or de-icer in your car for slippery parking lots or streets where you might have to park your car.
- Use caution, and slow down. Don’t hurry!
Back Pain Injury From Falls; what to expect
Symptoms of back injury from falling involve pain. This can occur to varying degrees depending on the extent of the injury and can affect different parts of the spine. Back injuries from falling on ice commonly fall into one of two categories:
- Lower back injury. Lower back or tailbone injury occurs when falling backwards onto the backside. An injury to the tailbone can be quite painful and also be accompanied by swelling and bruising.
- Upper back or neck injury. This can be attributed to muscle or ligament strains that occur during a fall.
- Can have both- sometimes following a slip and fall you can have an increase in BOTH neck and lower back pain depending on the mechanism of injury during the fall itself.
Treatment Options for Back Injuries
Fortunately, you can take the above measures to prevent or relieve back pain episodes. If prevention fails, chiropractic treatment and proper body mechanics often will heal your back and keep it functional. Here at Yost Family Chiropractic we not only treat the structure of the spine itself, but we also treat the soft tissue such as muscles and ligaments that surround the bones. For more information call us today at 515-278-9678 to speak with our office or get a consultation scheduled with one of our doctors.