Winter means cold weather, snow, and ice. As much as you may look forward to winter for the holiday season, the weather during this time is less than ideal for amputees, making it hard for them to get around. Using a prosthetic leg in slippery conditions can be downright dangerous. Fortunately, there are a couple of things that you can do to make sure that your prosthetic leg functions at its best – even if weather conditions are brutal. Proper care can make all the difference, so here are some tips for keeping your prosthetic comfortable during the cold weather:
Add Traction to Your Footwear
Just like you would choose tires that won’t skid on the ice, you will want to invest in some good high-traction footwear. Rubber soles and snowshoes will be your best bet. Look into winter boots or even cleats for better traction. If you are in an area that involves harsh winters, you should take a look at gel liners for your prosthetics, which are highly recommended by therapists. Not only will they insulate your prosthetic and allow you to stay warm, but they will also improve overall mobility. Amputees often have a hard time walking through snow due to the texture and the uneven ground. It is not recommended to walk on icy sidewalks or snowy roads. This is why extra traction will be needed as an extra layer of safety.
Stay Warm During Cold Season
Wind, cold temperatures, and moisture can build up pain if precautions aren’t taken. You want to wear your prosthesis anytime you leave the house and go into cold conditions. It’s crucial to keep your body warm and insulated in this kind of weather, which means that you should wear multiple layers, waterproof clothing, wool or fleece, and proper footwear. Exposing yourself to the cold is painful and can cause sickness, so bundle up! Keeping your whole body warm will also decrease stiffness in the other parts of your body, making it easier to move around.
Be Careful When Walking
It’s important to walk slowly and be careful while you are navigating through snow and ice. There are so many falling hazards in these weather conditions. Do not try to run or hurry through this weather, and take it easy by being steady. Another option for amputees is to use a walker, a cane, or a pair of crutches for slippery surfaces. You want a walker that has grips on the bottoms of it so that you can minimize your risk of slipping. Another reason to use a walker is that it will prevent nerve or joint pain. Walkers can be terrific tools to help you get through the winter.
Find Out What Specialized Prosthetic Technology is Available
There are tons of new advances in technology for amputees in order to make sure that they are comfortable and safe throughout all conditions, especially the winter. There are now prosthetics with heat regulation and bionic ankles that bend. There are only a few options of what is available, but prosthetics should be made for amputees to be able to do the bare minimum, which can be hard during winter. This is why there is always new technology targeted toward amputees in order to make it easier for them. When the winter time comes around, this is when amputees will need it most.
Learn more about our prosthesis solutions on our product page. Feel free to get in touch with us today to see how we can help!