Winter in the UK usually brings with it some potentially hazardous weather conditions, including less daylight and cold weather spells that cause ice and snow to compact on the pavement. This means that slipping and tripping accidents increase during the winter months. While most falls of this type result in bumps, bruises and other minor injuries, sometimes a person may suffer a more serious injury from slipping or falling, such as a dislocated hip or broken bone. 

Although there are the seasonal challenges of bad weather and limited daylight, walkers are still able to enjoy walking during the winter months. To help you stay safe we are sharing some tips to prevent slipping and falling on winter walks.

Plan Your Journey Ahead

Aim to keep your winter walks shorter than you would in the summer, walkers usually move slower in colder weather. Keep your walk simple, going to places that you have been before so that you are familiar with the terrain and give yourself enough time to get where you’re going. If you’re in a rush, the chances of falling over increase. 

If you plan on going outside for a walk whilst you are experiencing lower back pain, it is important to make sure that you wrap up warm to stay protected from the cold. Dress appropriately for the weather outside. 

Wear the Right Footwear

When the weather changes to snow and ice, many people choose to wear wellington boots. However, this type of footwear doesn’t provide enough support and if they also stop you from being able to walk properly, you will be more likely to fall over. Walking shoes that have firm ankle support are the best option, as they help you to feel more stable when walking in slippery conditions. 

Cold and numb feet are less able to adapt to changing conditions when walking, so thermal socks are also recommended as they will help to keep your feet and toes warm.

Keep Your Hands Free for Balance

When you go for a winter walk, watch your step outside, keeping an eye out for any potential slipping hazards. Try to keep your hands on the outside of your pockets so that you can keep better balance by using your arms.

You might become a lot less active in colder weather, which can cause problems with conditions such as joint pain or lower back issues. But the change in scenery, combined with the fresh air and all of the other physical and mental benefits that walking brings, makes it a great mobility exercise and it also helps improve your posture. By preparing and working to prevent a walking injury you can minimise any risks. 

What to Do If You Fall Over

If you do slip or fall over, try to curl up your body and roll as you fall. You may find yourself putting your hands out to protect yourself as it is an automatic reaction, but try to avoid doing this as it could cause an injury to your wrist. 

Visit a chiropractor immediately after a fall. This will help to improve the chances of a shorter and more effective treatment.

For more advice on chiropractic treatment after slipping or falling, talk to a chiropractor at Backworks. We also offer online chiropractic consultations so that you can speak to an expert from the comfort of your own home!