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If you’ve had a slip and fall this winter or a “near-miss”, you’re not alone.  The Atlantic Canadian weather cycle of freeze/thaw/freeze lends itself to slippery surfaces that can make it difficult to stay on your feet.  Strategies like wearing well-soled boots and “walking like a penguin” can help reduce the risk of a fall.  Nonetheless, even with attention to these details, an icy surface can still result in a slip and fall or “near-miss”.

Falls can have serious consequences like hip fractures and head injuries.  In these circumstances, people almost certainly come into contact with the healthcare system and receive guidance regarding the best management of their symptoms.  However, many others feel “bumped and bruised” but don’t seek medical assessment and treatment.  The value of fall injury treatment is often underestimated.  The underlying injuries are often joint sprains, muscle strains, and deep bruising.  Unfortunately, without addressing these injuries quickly, these falls often result in lingering symptoms, compensatory movement patterns (ie: limping), and an increased fear of falling.  These repercussions can negatively impact the quality of life and actually increase the risk of having another fall in the future.  Being connected with the right fall injury treatment quickly can help avoid these issues.

As a physiotherapist, I believe strongly in the benefit of seeking physiotherapy assessment of seemingly minor injuries within 1-2 days of a fall.   With a background in sports physiotherapy, I am accustomed to evaluating and treating injuries quickly, often on the day that they occur.  The sooner an area is evaluated after an accident, the easier it is to determine the exact structures involved and the extent of the injury.  It also helps ensure that immediate steps are taken to protect the injured area.  This kind of fall injury treatment optimizes the chance for a quick recovery.

Although it might not be possible to see a physiotherapist for fall injury treatment on the day of the injury, the sooner an assessment can be done, the better.  With the information from the assessment, the physiotherapist can design a fall injury treatment plan and get started right away.  The immediate goals of a fall injury treatment plan are to manage the symptoms, address the injured areas and establish a plan for a progressive return to safe activity.  

While waiting to see a physiotherapist after a fall, there are two key steps that I believe people can take to get started on the right track of fall injury treatment:  Keep Moving and Don’t Panic!

Keep Moving!

After an injury, there is often acute inflammation in the affected areas.  If we are relatively still during a period of acute inflammation, we tend to get stiffer and sorer as the days go on.  In fall injury treatment, it is important to be respectful of sharp pain at injury sites while still moving the body as much as possible.  This movement helps promote circulation and recovery.

Don’t Panic!

Most mild to moderate sprains, strains and bruises resolve within 6-8 weeks with the right fall injury treatment approach.  It is important to treat them seriously and be assessed medically but it is equally important to recognize that you will likely enjoy a full recovery within a couple of months.

Remember, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” … Stay safe (and upright) out there!

If you’ve had a fall and are wondering what the right fall injury treatment is for you, book an assessment with one of Zoomers’ physiotherapists to get started on a path to recovery.

Book an assessment with Zoomers

Use our online booking tool to find a time that works for you!