Stay Safe In the Snow!

01 Dec 2010

With temperatures in the UK well below seasonal averages, the effects of snow and ice can pose problems. To ensure everyone can stay safe in the snow and avoid injury, the British Chiropractic Association, offers some tips to help keep you safe in the snow.

Best Foot Forward

  • It is a good idea to have two pairs of shoes, one for walking in the snow, the other for either driving or walking around the office. A waterproof shoe is preferable for outside, one that gives you support (like a walking shoe), has a grippy sole and can be laced supportively around the foot and ankle. Whilst wellingtons can be practical, they often don’t give you enough support and can be difficult to take off. Avoid walking outside in leather soled shoes and, if you are driving, change your shoes, if possible, so that your feet do not slip on the pedals.

Top Gear

  • Clothing should be warm and allow you to move freely. Avoid things in your pockets that may do you
    harm if you fall. An ideal jacket length should be just below your waist and on the hips, but make sure it doesn’t impede your walking; if you fall, you will be thankful for the extra padding.
  • In addition to keeping you warm, hats, and gloves can also act as padding should you fall. Wearing a hat could help decrease the chances of an injury to the head and, likewise, when wearing gloves you are less likely to have your hands in your pockets, which may help you if were to slip.

Falling Gracefully

  • If you do fall, try and curl up and ‘roll’ with the fall and stay relaxed, this will minimise any jarring to your body. Whilst it may be an automatic reaction, try to avoid putting your hands out to save you – this may cause wrist injuries.

Keep Your Wits

  • It goes without saying, try to avoid alcohol. Not only will you be more prone to feeling the adverse effects of the cold (because it causes loss of body heat) but it may also cause you to take risks that you wouldn’t normally do and, of course, make you more unsteady on your feet. Keep topped up with warm drinks to keep your temperature up.

Plan, Plan, Plan

  • Plan what you need to do, especially if it involves travelling anywhere. Avoid walking too near
    the edge of the pavement to avoid slipping into traffic. Be patient, don’t hurry and watch out for parts of the pavement that may have been in shadow or under trees, where there is more likely be black ice.

Travelling by Car

  • Getting the car off the drive can be a problem so, if possible, sort out your garage and put the car away. If you do have to scrape the ice off your car, make sure that you have the correct implements. Stand on a stable surface and do not over-stretch.

Safe Shovelling

  • Whilst very satisfying, clearing snow can be a strenuous task. Make sure you bend your knees and keep your back straight. Don’t twist too much as any ‘unaccustomed activity’ may cause injury; if in doubt, put some salt or grit down instead.

Remember if you do fall make sure you get checked over as soon as possible, especially if you hit your
head. Enjoy the snow but keep warm and try to stay as safe as possible.

Exe Chiropractic Clinic is located in central Exeter. Chiropractic is a safe, non-invasive treatment approach to musculoskeletal problems (lower back pain, neck pain, headaches). To book a consultation with a chiropractor call us on 01392 690200 or email us on We look forward to seeing you soon!

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