The Dangers of Slipping and Falling On Ice
By Dr. George Bobbitt
It is far from funny. I cringe every time I see or hear that someone slipped and fell on the ice. The underlying damage that ensues from such an occurrence may go un-noticed for years.
Each year many people end up breaking bones and bust open their heads as they lose their balance and hit the ice. These people obviously need emergency care, and they go and seek help without question. The ones I worry about are those who bust it on the ice and never seek further evaluation.
Why should an individual get their body checked after falling on the ice when there is not an obvious broken bone or damage to the body?
Let me share.
The ground covered in ice is hard – very hard. When we slip and fall, especially on ice, we lose all control of grace and coordination. Our feet come out from our body at the speed of light and then wammo – we are on our back, side, bottom or front.
To state the obvious, the ground is really hard and does not give when our bodies hit it. Slipping and falling on ice is different than falling at other times because of the velocity in which we fall and hit the ground. This means that we hit the ground super-fast and super-hard.
When we hit the ground, our body’s joints undergo instant sprain and strain. The force of the fall goes through the areas of least resistance. Sometimes the force is balanced enough and only injuries the tissues and joints, while other times it goes through bones and breaks them.
Just because you can walk or move the body after the slip and fall does not mean your body is ok. It is nearly impossible to hit the ground without doing underlying damage. Be thankful that nothing broke at the time, but be sensible enough to have a chiropractor look at the body as a whole.
Mostly what we find after examining a body after a slip and fall on ice is a pelvis knocked out of its normal position. It becomes rotated and twisted. This will cause the rest of the spine to compensate in an attempt to balance out the pelvic rotation and twisting. From this point everything else has to shift and adapt to a new structural anomaly.
Another and more serious risk from these types of accidents is damaging the spinal discs. As we land on our butt and backs, the force from the fall can go through the disc and blow them out. This is often referred to as herniated, bulging or ruptured disc syndrome.
More commonly, the following is what happens to most of us.
We slip and fall on the ice. It hurts! We get up and shake it off. We go about our day somewhat normally – but embarrassed. We are sore and stiff for a week or two – then life goes on. But wait… there is more.
Months and even years later we start complaining of things going wrong with our body. Over the counter medications and general check-ups bring no relief. Further diagnostics disclose little answers to our current aggravations. We assume that “we are just getting older” and live with it.
No one ever thinks that maybe, just maybe, that slip and fall on the ice contorted the body in such a way as to create a rotated and twisted foundation. From that point the body has compensated as long as it could in this contortion, and now, just now, decided it has had enough.
I end with this thought.
Symptoms are the body’s way of telling you it needs help before the situation becomes an emergency. Please listen to your body. It is the most amazing creation.