Preventing injuries in snow, ice and wintry mix

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)- Snow and ice. The wintry mix can lead to a number of injuries.

Before you step out or grab that shovel, listen up.

“If you warm up, you stretch, you’re going to decrease your risk of straining your muscles and injuring your joints. If they are more warm, there’s more blood flow going into the area,” said Melanie Strassberg with Professional Physical Therapy.

She says your back, knees and ankles will thank you for it. Stretching, strengthening, stabilizes the body to better cope with that slip, twist or fall.

The hamstring stretch on your back targets the lower area.

“The hamstrings come up and they attach right into the back so it helps to loosen your back,” said Strassberg.

Hook a towel on a foot. Then pull up. Uncomfortable? Bend the other leg. Hold for 30 seconds.

The physical therapist recommends doing it a couple of times on each leg.

The single knee to chest is another beneficial move.

“Everything that connects from your posterior chain, up into your lower back, it’s easy to stretch out on your back,” said Strassberg.

For the knee:

“A gentle quad stretch would be good since they come up and attach down into the knees,” said Strassberg.

The ankles:

“Lean forward, bending the front leg, keeping the back leg like straight and you should feel a stretch right back here. Hold it for 30 seconds and then you could switch to the other side,” said Strassberg.

That eases the calf, ankle, down to the foot.

When walking on icy conditions be sure to watch your step.

“Take small choppy steps to make sure that your center of gravity is over your weight. So if you are going this way, you can easily throw yourself off balance and you could easily slip on ice if you are leaning back while you are stepping forward. So you want to keep everything right over your feet,” said Strassberg.

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