Cold Weather Injuries

The long range weather forecast seems to be cold and snow , in fact one popular tabloid has gone as far as to say its going to be the coldest winter in modern history – well we will see . It seems already there is a fall in temperature , this may certainly lead to a rise in musculoskeletal injuries. Musculoskeletal injuries may include back pain , neck pain ,shoulder strain and damaged wrists etc These may happen potentially from clearing snow from pathways, falling on the ice ,making snowmen and merely just going to the corner shops or work .

Using your muscles in the cold affects performance and makes you more prone to injuries. Muscles are less elastic and do not absorb shock and impact as readily.

Joints are stiffened.
Strength is reduced.
Work efficiency is lowered.
Movements are less coordinated.

Its good advice to adhere to the following :

Practice proper lifting techniques:
Check that your path is clear.
Be certain your footing is firm.
Don’t twist your body.
Take the time to do it safely.
Dress appropriately for the weather and job.
Wear multiple, lightweight non-cotton layers, creating your own personal climate control.
Select footwear and icegrips appropriate for ground conditions.

A musculoskeletal injury is an injury of
nerves
joints
muscles
spine

These are usually caused by forceful or repeated exertions ,awkward postures and exposures to environmental changes such as extreme cold or humidity . Also abrupt, forceful muscle action such as acceleration, deceleration, or when changing directions suddenly.

Muscle strains are graded by severity from Grade 1 to Grade 3 :

Grade 1 : there is muscle tightening , not very painful , some pain with stretching.

Grade 2 : Strains occur with a single motion may have accompanying pop/snap characteristically protective muscle spasm immediate and lasting pain .

Grade 3 : Completely torn through muscle , severe pain , swelling and limitation of movement

Manage your muscle strains with appropriate analgesia, ( antinflammatories work well but ask your Dr or Pharmacist first) , ironically for these ijuries sustained in cold weather , apply ice also compression , stretch and move lightly. If the injury persists for more than 48 hours then call:
spinalsolutions for advice on 01216380105

Don not leave icepack on injury for more than 15 minutes at any one time . Sometimes good advice is as good as therapy so be informed always .

Simple aches may become less severe or go away when the weather becomes warm and dry or when you apply a treatment that introduces heat to the body. So when there is no immediate strain this is the implication for heat , apply with heat pack – beware of hot water bottles!!