Guys, we are getting snow today – in November? Is that even legal? So yes, winter is basically here! Cold temperatures, snow, and ice can make going out and about a challenge for everyone, especially amputees. However, proper care is the key to keeping your prosthetic legs functioning at their best through winter’s worst. Here are some of my tips to stay safe, cozy, and comfortable.
Invest in Good Traction
Just as winter tires can keep a car from sliding, high-traction footwear can help your prosthetic leg get you around somewhat more safely. Choose rubber-soled sneakers, snow shoes, winter boots, or cleats to keep you on your “feet.” And of course, avoid heels, sandals, and dress shoes, especially on snow and ice.
Protect Against the Cold
Cold temperatures, moisture, and wind add up to a painful experience for your skin if you do not take precautions. Be sure to always wear your prosthesis when heading out in chilly conditions. Neglecting to do so could result in pain, soreness, and even irritation. No matter the circumstances of your amputation or your body weight, it is imperative to keep your prosthesis and the rest of your body warm and insulated. Wool or fleece clothing, multiple layers, waterproof winter coats, and proper-fitting footwear will help you overcome the challenges that winter presents.
Move with Caution
Slow and steady is the key to safely navigating snow, ice, and other wintry hazards. Follow footsteps whenever possible, and do not try to force your way through snow mounds. Canes, walkers, and crutches can make an enormous difference in helping you safely navigate slippery, slushy surfaces. Specialized cane tips and grips can minimize your risk of slipping, as well as prevent joint and nerve pain.
Let’s hope an early start to winter means an early end. In the meantime, stick to these tips to help you navigate through the worst of it. Happy snowfall, y’all!