Medical Monday Winter Injuries Part Two

Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 1:16 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Some of the most common injuries people get in the winter are pulled muscles, muscle spasms and lower back pain from shoveling, or broken bones from falling on the ice. But those are the only issues people can have in the winter months.

Dr. Robert McFadgen, Primary Care Physician at Northern Light AR Gould, says “We see that all the time, someone who’s started on a new blood pressure medication, not sure how their body might react to it, and they are up on the roof clearing snow and they’re getting dizzy. That’s a recipe for disaster.”

Dr. McFadgen says it’s important to be cautious if you’ve been recently put on a new medication or if you suffer from asthma. He says “The really cold air can cause your lungs to spasm and you can have coughing fits, wheezing, short of breath, much more than someone else, so especially in patients with asthma, it can be helpful to use your inhaler 15 minutes prior to going out into the really cold air to prevent your lungs from having that spasm.”

If you find your hands and feet overreact to the cold, McFadgen says it might be Reynaud’s Syndrome or disease, something he says you should have checked out by your medical provider.

“Typically not a serious condition, it just can be painful, but in really cold temperatures it can lead to a lack of profusion to the fingertips, which would increase your risk for things like frostbite. So, if you have a history of that, definitely want to be careful in the cold. Maybe ask for help if it’s really cold. Really layer up on the gloves. You can’t have too many layers, you can only have too few.” according to Dr. McFadgen.

If you’re finger tips turn white when you are in the cold, then red when you go inside, you may have Reynaud’s disease. McFadgen says it is quite common and there are treatment options available.

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