Medical Minute: Winter Injuries

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MINOT, N.D. - While winter may induce the cold, flu and frost bite, icy roads and the snow can cause falls and other injuries.

Besides the huge amounts of snow, slipping, falling, and shoveling are all difficult issues to deal with during the winter season. In this week's Medical Minute, we spoke with Premier Chiropractic about treating these winter-related injuries.

Though the common cold is an expected aliment during the winter so are back, shoulder and muscle injuries.

With snow and ice covering the Magic City, shoveling-related injuries, as well as slips and falls, have become more common.

Since the snow first started falling, Premier Chiropractic says it's had a 15 percent rise in patients with slips, falls and shoveling related injuries. Things like shoulder injuries and low back pain are common in all of these injuries.

"In the winter months we tend to see a lot of low back pain, and we also see a lot neck and upper shoulder type pain. The reason for the low back pain can be from a fall, which is really common in the winter, and then when we're cold we tend to hike our shoulders up like this and kind of try to bundle up as much as we can, so that tends to set of these muscles up here a little more then we typically want to," says Kirk Mason, Premier Chiropractic Chiropractic Doctor.

With the mounds of snow covering driveways and walkways, people also tend to suffer from shoveling related injuries.

"When people are shoveling, the one thing you wanna make sure of is that you're bending through your hips and not your low back. So what that means is that if someone bends over and tries to shovel that they're actually bending like this. So their low back stays solid and their core is braced and things like that," says Mason.

But, Premier says there are ways to deal with these aliments and ways to avoid them.

While simply staying in shape and using your core and hips during movements is important so is exercising. But if you've already encountered an injury this winter, Premier Chiropractic says it has a few things they can do to calm, activate muscles and help make sure your muscles are moving properly.

Whether you deal with the situation on your own or seek help, not dealing with the pain is often worse.

"If you kind of leave pain and leave these things, they can lead to different movement patterns that result, and then it can lead to bigger problems down the road. A lot of times we see disk herniation symptoms and things like that come in to the clinic, and the reason for that is because maybe they're not moving well through their hips or maybe they're not moving well through their upper back, so they just compensate by moving more through their lower back, and that actually irritates that disk. So those are some bigger problems that maybe we can prevent now so you don't have to go through more serious measures later on," says Mason.

Before it gets that far, make sure to stay aware of your surroundings when walking these icy but magical streets.

Premier Chiropractic mentions its easier to walk on compact snow then sheer ice, but if you do end up falling and hurting yourself don't wait until it's too late to come in and see them.