After a bad fall, do this.
The fall may not feel as bad as what it does to your quality of life.
- Did you hit your head or break a bone? If you think you need the hospital because you’ve hit your head or broken something, seek emergency attention. Concussions, contusions, cracks, fractures and other injuries can be serious. A bad fall on the ice can be just as damaging as a car accident, in some cases more so.
- Did you pull a muscle? You start to slide and you catch yourself. You don’t hit the ground, but you do strain your back, groin, neck or shoulder. Go inside and put ice on the strain to reduce inflammation. Then switch to heat – as long as it feels comfortable. Light stretching may be helpful too. If the pull is not severe, applying deep pressure to the muscle may help release tension and stimulate healing.
- Did you land on your tailbone? Get ice on it immediately. Pay close attention to your ability to sit and lie down comfortably. You may need to sit on a special surface or a “Donut Pillow” to help take the pressure off the tailbone. Injuries to the coccyx (tip of the tailbone) can be awfully painful and last a long time.
- Did you injure your wrist? Our instinct is to put our arms out when we fall. Landing on your wrist can lead to injuries that really impact your ability to work. A broken wrist would need immediate emergency medical attention. Anything less may just need to be iced, wrapped and immobilized. Never underestimate the lifelong impact of a wrist injury though. Think for a second how much you use your hands, and what you use them for!
Ways to avoid falling.
- Hold on! Don’t be embarrassed to hold on to a railing, cane or arm of someone close by. You’ll feel more silly if you actually fall on the ice.
- Cleats! Buy some antislip cleats, like Stabilicers to strap on to any pair of boots or shoes. These things can save you thousands of dollars in medical bills and hours of rehab and physical medicine before a fall on the ice. Prevention is the best medicine.
- Pay attention! Paying close attention to your surroundings, your footing and your balance are fundamentally important.