Melissa Romeo, MSN, RN
Six simple spring tips for bone & joint safety
Next weekend we’ll mark daylight saving time. We’ll welcome the first day of spring March 20.
As we experience longer daylight hours and anticipate warmer weather, it’s a great time to enjoy seasonal activities, tackle repair jobs, and embrace experiencing Hammonton.
Maybe you’re boning up on spring cleaning, kicking up your feet relaxing, or getting back to exercising.
You can have a leg up on preventing bone breaks and other injuries as you break away from winter.
Following are six simple spring tips AtlantiCare’s Center for Orthopedic Surgery Team recommends for protecting your bones and joints.
1. Step carefully. Slipping and falling are among the most common reasons we see patients for knee, hip, hand and wrist, and foot and ankle bone breaks. Make sure boats, porches, decks, and patios are free from morning dew, rain, water and of course—the potential spring freeze. Be mindful of your environment. Remove or fix tripping hazards. Decorative rugs, miscellaneous clutter, uneven surfaces, loose boards, and popped nails and screws are common culprits.
2. Plan your approach. If you’re doing indoor or outdoor work, heed heights. Falls from roofs, ladders, trees and anything at any height can lead to bone breaks—and worse, can be fatal. Focus on good ergonomics. If you have to move or life heavy or bulky items, take your time; bend, lift and carry safely. Have a partner or hire someone to do or help you with potentially bone-breaking work.
3. Reconnect responsibly. Make sure you have the time, energy, and strength to start or ease back into participating in sports, exercising, checking off chores, and more. You are more likely to injure yourself if you’re rushed, tired, distracted or otherwise not physically prepared or mentally focused.
4. Inspect carefully. Make sure equipment and vehicles, from ladders to lawnmowers, bicycles to backsaws, powered or manual, are clean, and work properly. Always use equipment according to directions and manufacturers’ specifications.
5. Notice differences. Pay attention to what your bones and body tell you. Playing, working, or pushing through pain isn’t heroic and it can be harmful. Waiting to seek care can lead your condition to worsen and impact your bone and overall health and wellbeing.
6. Gear your garments. Dress for bone and overall safety. Always wear appropriate footwear. Wearing the wrong or no foot covering is among the many reasons our patients have injured their feet and ankles doing spring activities. Avoid wearing flip-flops, sandals and any open or non-sturdy shoes when doing anything that involves using power tools or anything heavy. Wear knee, wrist and other pads for sports and activities that have a high potential for falls or hits. Use the right size clothing and equipment for you.
We want you to be injury free. But we know, as life happens, injuries occur.
If you do need surgery or another procedure for a joint or bone injury, our compassionate, experienced team wants to get you back to a healthy and active lifestyle. Based in the AtlantiCare Health Park, Egg Harbor Township Campus, we are dedicated exclusively to providing same-day orthopedic surgeries and other procedures. These include total hip and knee replacements; hand, foot, and ankle surgeries; and additional sports medicine, pain management and spine procedures.
It’s so rewarding seeing a member of the Hammonton community for whom we’ve cared—and other patients we’ve treated—enjoying life pain-free.
Melissa Romeo, MSN, RN, is the Director of Nursing at AtlantiCare Center for Orthopaedic Surgery. For more information, visit www.atlanticare.org/ortho or call 1-888-569-1000.