Accidents, Injuries and Recovery During the Winter Months

Making a List and Checking it Twice
December 18, 2019
Construction and Corruption: A game with a unique, Montreal twist.
December 23, 2019

Accidents, Injuries and Recovery During the Winter Months

No matter what your opinion is of the cold weather, there is no denying that the Winter months can be a bit tough for everyone. Having to bundle up in order to go out, the commute to any destination is harder because to the icy conditions. Not only are the roads icy, but even your driveway and sidewalks can turn into skating rinks. Overall, there seems to be several more hazardous factors that come with the colder weather.  

Let’s look at the injuries that can arise, the methods of preventing these injuries, and if they do occur, what you can do to recover safely.

Injuries During the Winter

Here are just a few of the many ways people can get injured during the cold, snowy and icy Winter Season.

1.Hazardous Ice and Snow 

According to The Globe and Mail, between 2016 and 2017, there were 9,000 hospitalizations due to citizens falling on ice, and Quebec accounted for more of those hospital visits than any other Province. Dr. Jean-Marc Troquet, chief of the emergency medicine department at the MUHC said that the most common ice related injuries seen are wrist and ankle fractures along with head trauma.  

Not surprisingly, those who are more prone to slipping and getting injured are those who use mobility devices and the elderly. In fact, in Canada alone, more than 137,500 people aged 65 and older spent at least one night in a hospital in 2017-2018 due to falling in general, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

Trying to save yourself from a bad slip/fall on the snow and ice could also cause you to pull a muscle. Shoveling your driveway or scraping the ice off your windshield are other possibilities. Just one wrong movement can cause an injury bigger and more painful than expected.  

2.Accidents While Playing Winter Sports and Activities

During the 2014 Winter Olympics held in Sochi, the medical staff had reported 391 injuries. Think of how many other injuries happen worldwide because of accidents that occur during the same (or similar) sports and activities. The most common injuries include:


Hip Fractures

Ankle Sprains

Knee Injuries

Dislocated Shoulders

Spinal Injuries

Broken Elbows

Torn Ligaments

and many more.

3.Driving Collisions

Car accidents happen in the best of conditions. Add sleet, slush, black ice, and snow, and it is a recipe for what could be a disaster. In a report done by The Star, there is a 3.1 to 4.7 percent rise in car accident cases in the months of December and January in Canada.

Injuries caused by these accidents often include whiplash, broken ribs and/or other bones, head injuries, herniated discs, internal bleeding, and others.

These are just a few among many possible scenarios in which you can get harmed.  How can you do your best to prevent these injuries? Let’s take a look.

Methods of Prevention

No one plans on getting harmed during Winter activities, walks, or holiday fun, however it is still important to prevent them as best as possible. In all situations, keep an eye on the weather. Check the forecast and stay mindful- weather can change in no time, so be prepared for any and all situations.   

For snowy, icy conditions, you must purchase the proper attire/products, and be cautious. Walk carefully and watch your footing. Avoid slippery surfaces as much as possible and keep in mind that there may be black ice you simply can’t see. Wear appropriate footwear that has slip resistant bottoms, or even better, buy grips that can be attached for extra traction.  

When playing sports, make sure to warm up first. Do the proper stretches, squats and twists. Due to the cold, your muscles are naturally tighter so it will take longer for them to loosen up.  

During the activity, take regular breaks- especially when children are involved. It may not be obvious that they are tired (we all know how energetic they are!) but muscle exhaustion puts everyone at risk of getting injured more quickly. Take time to relax your body/muscles, hydrate and refuel. Wear protective gear and the appropriate clothing.

As for driving, several precautions should be made. Get your winter tires put on, always keep a scraper in the back, and make sure all mirrors and the top of your car are free of snow and ice. Drive slowly. There is no need to rush anywhere, and do not make any abrupt stops or turns. Giving yourself more time to commute is a smart idea, this way you’re less likely to speed. Don’t tailgate- stopping takes longer in winter conditions. Overall, be extra diligent with how to drive safely and remember that you are not the only one on the road.

Another way of preventing injuries is to see an osteopath. While many people believe osteopathy is only for treating injuries, this is not the case. Many athletes see an osteopath in order to prevent the injuries they know are part of whichever sport they play.  

Recovery and Osteopathy

No matter how much you plan and prepare for certain weather, and even if you take all the proper precautions, accidents happen. Whenever an injury does occur, seek medical help as soon as possible. Maybe it is just a sprain and resting the area for a few days will work wonders. However, sometimes what you think is a tiny issue can become an even bigger one later. It is better to let a professional assess the situation and give you the proper treatment plan.  

When you begin recovery, visit an osteopath! The human body is an amazing thing. It adapts and heals from things that can sometimes be unfathomable. Osteopaths understand how a body heals and by using certain techniques, they promote the body to heal itself even more.  

If one part of your body is injured, the rest of the body will need to compensate. This can lead to pain, inflammation and even more issues. Osteopaths can also work alongside doctors helping you with treatment. They may suggest dietary and lifestyle changes in conjunction with the massages that are involved with osteopathic manual therapy.   Osteopathy is also not just for muscle and bone injuries like many people assumes. From digestive issues to even concussions– it is worth looking into as perhaps an alternative to the usual help you seek! If you’re looking for an osteopath in the Montreal area, you can trust Osteopathie Montreal.  They’ve been serving Montrealer’s since 1998 and have a wide range of services. You can easily book an appointment or find out more information online, by calling 514-816-8894 or by emailing

By Joanna Ahti