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Denver Wellness Center Explains How to Safely Handle Winter Maintenance and Repairs

February 27, 2019

Winters in Denver are beautiful. However, as a homeowner, you need to take precautions when handling your outdoor maintenance. It is easy to strain a muscle, overexert yourself, get a cramp or fall. By taking a few extra precautions in advance from your Denver wellness center, you can rest assured that you are safe in your outdoor work. 

Preparing for and Managing Ice

Did you know millions of Americans go to the doctor or emergency room due to a fall on ice? When ice builds up on your sidewalks, steps, and other walkways, it increases the risk of injury. One of the best things you can do is to help melt it before you get to work. If ice is everywhere you need to step, use something like cat litter to help strengthen your grip. Prior to the litter, use an ice melt solution that will eliminate the ice. In extreme cases, you can take a shovel and break the ice up. But ice can be more problematic than just on walkways. Icicles on your home can be dangerous. Ice that accumulates becomes heavy, which can cause it to fall at increasing speeds—a danger to anything in its path. Falling icicles can pierce the skin and cause intense wounds. 

Enduring Low Temperatures for Extended Periods of Time

There are a variety of injuries a person can endure due to cold temperatures. The colder they are, the worse. A few key issues include: 

Frostbite: When temperatures and wind chills are super low, you run the risk of frostbite. A person can experience it when lows are in the single or negative digits. During these low temps, tissue in the body begins to freeze. This causes blood to flow less in the area and can negatively impact the area. When there is no blood flow, no oxygen gets into the area. Minor injuries start with “frostnip” with a small amount of damage to deep frostbite. 
Hypothermia: A reduction in temperature can also lead to a decrease in one's internal body temperature. This tends to happen when a person is outdoor for an extended duration of time. This causes a person's internal temperature to drop from the average 98.6 degrees to below 95. The body needs this heat to survive. Hypothermia happens when a person cannot catch up and does not create enough heat, causing failure of the organs. It is so vital for your personal safety to learn how to dress to stay warm when it’s super cold

Avoid Overexertion and Heart Problems

Shoveling snow and outdoor maintenance is a workout and should be treated as such. People can spend more time than they should working hard outdoors, causing dehydration and strained muscles. The added stress on the body when shoveling can actually lead to a heart attack if not cautious. It occurs due to an increase in blood pressure, in some instances, even causing clots. When shoveling, you should dress appropriately and take it slow and easy. If at any point you feel as though it is too much, get dizzy, out of breath, fatigued or other out-of-the-norm, stop and check with a doctor. To help you avoid this problem, take some time to warm up just as you would before a workout. 

Keep from Rupturing Discs 

On a person’s vertebrae, there are discs in between them to help make up the alignment on your spine. Working hard outdoors in ways you do not usually work can cause discs to rupture. This happens because the inside of the vertebrae ruptures outside. Also known as a herniated disc, a person can experience numbness or pain. A weak feeling is also familiar and should be taken seriously. 

Common Falls

One of the most common issues during winter are falls. Before shoveling, make sure you wear slip-resistant shoes to help strengthen your grip. As you get started, take your time. The more you rush, the more likely you are to fall, which can lead to a concussion or worse. Avoid walking in long strides as shorter steps will help you from slipping. Failure to avoid these protocols lead to injuries such as concussions, sprained wrists or ankles, broken bones, hurt back, and more. 

Chances for Dislocation

When caring for maintenance outdoors, joints can become dislocated. They can be common in falls and can be incredibly painful. The area will swell and be hard to move. It can also cause nerve damage or torn muscles. One of the most common ways to experience dislocation during winter maintenance is during snow shoveling. Even when not using caution while shoveling, you can get a tennis elbow. It occurs when the elbow experiences added weight and pressure on the elbow, causing pain. 

Straining Muscles While Shoveling Snow

Shoveling snow not only can put added strain on your heart but on your muscles too. Strains occur due to repetition on strained areas. The tissue eventually just wears down leading to pain or stiffness, difficulty moving, and weakness. It is common in the back, especially the lower back, but can also occur in the shoulders. This is why it is so important to warm up and take it slow when performing outdoor maintenance. When lifting heavy objects, always remember to lift with your knees and not your back. Do not try to raise your shovel over your head but keep it low. If you over-do it with your muscles, it can cause stretching and adhesions. 

No matter what your outdoor winter maintenance injuries are, Cherry Creek Wellness Center will help you have a speedy recovery. Our Cherry Creek Wellness Center tips for avoiding winter injuries will help you get the work appropriately done as safely as possible. When you do the work right, you will be able to enjoy the area’s beauty pain-free. Interested in a little pre-maintenance assistance? Come in for a consultation. We will help you master techniques and form to handle everything you need to do during the winter. Contact Cherry Creek Wellness Center in Denver today to set up your appointment.