Be Careful For That Ice! Common Slip-And-Fall Injuries In Older Adults During The Winter

Health & Medical Articles

Winter is a beautiful time of year with gently falling snow and icicles hanging from the eaves. However, the beauty of winter can take a nasty turn if you take a wrong step and slip and fall. Falls are a significant source of injuries in the United States, especially in older adults; in fact, nearly three-quarter of a million adults over 65 are hospitalized each year due to fall injuries. If you are an older adult, then you need to understand the types of injuries that can occur when you slip and fall on ice. Here is a guide to some of the most common of these and what to do when they occur:

Spinal compression fractures

A spinal compression fracture is the breaking of vertebrae due to bone weakening caused by osteoporosis or other problems. Among older adults, especially women over 50 years of age, compression fractures of the spine are common. Many older adults don't even know they have a compression fracture but instead assume their back pain is a normal part of aging. It doesn't take much physical trauma to cause a compression fracture; even the jolt from slipping on ice, but catching yourself before falling, is enough to fracture weakened vertebrae.

If you have slipped on ice recently and are suffering from back pain that won't go away, you should consider visiting walk in clinics to see if you have a compression fracture. Ignoring pain will only make things worse, as it takes medical evaluation and treatment to get healing. The good news is that surgery is necessary in only some of the worst cases, and most sufferers of compression fractures are able to realize a recovery by resting, wearing a back brace, and taking medication to control pain.

Tailbone injuries

An injured tailbone may seem to be comical at first, but this affliction will prove to be no laughing matter. Tailbone fractures and bruises are common consequences of slipping and falling on one's backside. Tailbone bruises are very painful, and the pain can linger for several weeks as the area slowly heals.

If you have fallen on ice and have a severe pain in your extreme lower back just above your buttocks, it is possible that you have a tailbone injury. Medical care for tailbone injuries includes prescribing painkillers for those injured, resting and the use of sitting support measures to eliminate or reduce the pressure placed on the tailbone.

Traumatic brain injury

One of the most serious injuries you can incur from slipping on ice is a traumatic brain injury. If your head strikes the ground or other object during the course of a fall, then it is possible to do significant harm to your brain. Head injuries are insidious; it is possible to fall, strike your head, and then get up as nothing had happened. However, such blows can set in course a chain of events that may lead to paralysis, coma or even death. Here are a few early warning signs that you may have suffered a traumatic brain injury and need to get to a doctor as soon as possible:

  • Headache

  • Seizure

  • Memory loss

  • Vomiting

Even without these signs, persons of advanced age and others who are vulnerable to bleeding disorders should still be evaluated by a physician, particularly if they strike their head on a hard surface during a fall. A CT scan is able to identify potentially-deadly conditions such as hematomas (bleeding on the brain) and give time for doctors to intervene before it's too late.

Disc herniation

Disc herniation occurs when a vertebral disc, which is a cushioned pad between bony segments of the spine, is torn due to trauma or some other factor. As with most other back problems, the incidence increases with age, and a sudden slip or fall on the ice could tear a disc.

Besides back pain, common indicators that you have a herniated disc include numbness, pain in the extremities and muscular weakness. Only a doctor can firmly diagnose a herniated disc with imaging techniques, but treatment for most cases of herniated discs is usually fairly simple; the use of anti-inflammatory medication, steroids and pain medication can help give the sufferer relief.


30 December 2014

Natural Allergy Relief - Find Out What Really Works

I have struggled with allergies my entire life, and my health issues kept me from enjoying playgrounds and outdoor sports like the other kids. When my daughter started to sniffle and sneeze when she turned seven, I knew that I didn't want to stop my child from experiencing a fulfilling childhood. After a meeting with an allergist and a blood test, I found out that my daughter was allergic to pollen during the spring, summer, and fall months. I decided to allow my daughter to start shot therapy. While my daughter built up an immunity to the allergens, I decided to lessen symptoms by using natural health techniques. I found a variety of options online. Unfortunately, I had to weed through a great deal of information to find out what worked and what didn't. Let my research and trials guide you, so you can find out what really works.