13:51 PM

To Your Health! Celebrate the Season Safely

Autumn Years reports on an increase of patients who sustain an injury during the holiday season and shares safety guidance from HSS experts including Geoffrey H. Westrich, MD, hip and knee surgeon, James F. Wyss, MD, PT, physiatrist, Joshua S. Dines, MD, sports medicine surgeon and Alice Chen, MD, physiatrist.

According to Dr. Westrich, “During the busy holiday season, people are often rushing to get things done and may lose sight of slippery streets or a potential hazard in their home. In bad weather, even if snow and ice have been removed, there are always some slippery surfaces. I've also seen patients who have tripped over an item on the floor in their haste to leave the house.”

Dr. Wyss said the most common injury he sees is to the lower back from shoveling snow. “When it snows, I advise people to try to stay ahead of the game. Try to go out to shovel more than once. Don't wait until it accumulates because the deeper and heavier the snow, the greater the risk of injury,” he noted.

For running in cold weather, Dr. Dines recommended 5 to 10 minutes of dynamic stretching before exercising outdoors. He advised staying hydrated. “In the winter, they may think they don't need as much water, but it's just as important to stay hydrated,” he added.

Dr. Chen explained common causes of chronic pain during the holidays. “Around the holidays, people are often trying to meet deadlines. The sudden increase in activity can lead to overuse injuries, aggravate joint conditions such as arthritis, and cause sprains and strains. People should also be careful when lifting and carrying heavy packages,” she said.

This article appeared in the Winter 2021 print edition and online at Omagdigital.com. Additional coverage: Patch.com.