Every season presents its own unique challenges for our feet, but winter in Minnesota can be especially hard on our feet and ankles. Not all of these injuries are preventable, but if you are aware of some of the risks and take steps to mitigate your chance of injury, you’ll have a higher likelihood of making it to spring without needing to see a foot specialist. So in today’s blog, we share 20 quick tips for protecting your feet and ankles this winter.
20 Ways To Prevent Foot Injuries This Winter
Here’s a look at 20 things you can do to help reduce your risk of a significant foot injury this winter.
1. Good Grip – Make sure your boots or winter shoes have good grip so that you don’t end up slipping on snow and ice.
2. Thick Socks – If you’re going to be outside for an extended period, wear warm socks to prevent frostbite!
3. Watch For Ice – When walking, keep an eye out for snow and ice that could present slipping hazards.
4. Keep Your Boots Dry – If your boots get wet on the inside, dry them out before the next use to prevent getting your socks and feet wet and exposing them to conditions like athlete’s foot or frostbite.
5. Tight Ice Skates – If you’re going ice skating, make sure sure skates fit appropriately. They need to allow your feet room to breathe while also being tight enough such that they can support your ankles as you skate.
6. Know Your Limits – With any winter activity, be it ice skating, skiing or snowmobiling, know your limits and don’t conduct dangerous maneuvers that could greatly increase your risk of injury.
7. Conduct Regular Foot Checks – Conduct weekly foot checks to look for signs of a rash, cuts that won’t heal or anything out of the ordinary.
8. Consider Moisturizers – Dry and cracked feet are more common during the winter months, so consider using a cream or moisturizer to help prevent against cracking feet.
9. Take Your Runs Indoors – Consider running on a treadmill or an indoor track to avoid icy or slippery surfaces you might run into outdoors.
10. Stop Small Problems – Talk to a foot specialist or your family physician if you have any nagging foot pain. The sooner treatment begins, the more successful it tends to be.
11. Comfortable Shoes – Comfort should still be your primary focus when it comes to footwear, so don’t jam your feet into uncomfortable winter boots or fashionable footwear.
12. Give Them A Break – Give your feet plenty of time to rest, especially if you’ve been on your feet for extended periods during the winter season.
13. Stay Active – At the same time, don’t shy away from activity. Exercise and activity will help keep your feet strong and allow them to better handle daily stress.
14. Continue Nail Care – Keep trimming your toenails on a regular schedule and practice proper cutting techniques, even though your feet won’t be on display as much as they might be during the summer.
15. Slowly Ramp Up Activity – Slowly increase activity and winter sport participation. Your feet need time to get back into the swing of winter activity.
16. Beware of Blisters – Winter shoes or winter athletic gear can rub awkwardly on your feet and cause blisters if you’re not careful.
17. Stretch – Help prepare all muscle groups for winter activity by thoroughly stretching before you jump into activity.
18. Gear Safety – Make sure winter gear is still in good working shape so that it doesn’t contribute to a fall or similar type of injury.
19. Height Safety – Whether you’re hanging up Christmas lights or clearing snow off your roof, make sure you safely work from heights and use harnesses or ladder support to prevent a devastating fall injury.
20. Regular Checkups – Finally, make sure that you continue to get regular physicals and foot care from professionals to help spot potential issues and to stop them before they get worse.
For help with any foot issue you’re facing during the winter, reach out to Dr. Silverman’s office today.