Winter Safety Tips from PHSC

From slips on the ice to mishaps with a shovel or snow blower, the physicians of Philadelphia Hand to Shoulder Center see an increase in patients with hand, wrist, arm, elbow and shoulder injuries during the winter. Luckily, there are precautions you can take to prevent these injuries.

Ice and Snow

If you must venture out on an icy path, be extra cautious to avoid slips and falls. Pretreat paths and steps with salt and always use a handrail when walking down steps, especially when they may be icy. Also, be very careful when shoveling snow. Various injuries to hands, wrist, arms, elbows and shoulders like strains and tears can be caused by shoveling heavy, wet snow or using a repetitive motion to chip away ice on your driveaway or sidewalk. Shovel small, less heavy areas of snow and take frequent breaks to avoid injury.

Snow Blowers

A snow blower can cause devastating injuries to the hand and arm. To prevent these injuries, it is important to understand how your snow blower works. Read the manual and familiarize yourself with the parts of your snow blower. Most injuries are caused when the blades get clogged with wet, heavy snow.

person pushing snow blower
Remember these tips if your snow blower gets clogged:

  • Turn the engine OFF
  • Disengage the clutch
  • Wait for all blades to stop moving
  • Never unclog the blades with your hands. Always use a declogging tool, a broom handle or stick

Try these tips to keep your snow blower from clogging:

  • Spray the blades and chute with cooking oil
  • Plow multiple times if the snow is expected to be deep and/or heavy.

Winter is a wonderful time of year. Enjoy all the season has to offer. And remember, if you
experience any type of injury to your hands, wrists, arms, elbows or shoulders, call the experts
at Philadelphia Hand to Shoulder Center at 1-800-385-PHSC (7472) or visit Hand2Shoulder- to learn more.

Important Message Regarding Coronavirus

**PHSC Policies on Coronavirus (COVID-19)**

Updated January 3, 2022

The safety of our patients and staff is our number one priority. With that in mind, all patients visiting any of our offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, regardless of vaccination status, MUST WEAR A MASK AT ALL TIMES.

Patients Only: To allow for social distancing, guests and family members are NOT PERMITTED to attend appointments with patients. The only exceptions are:

  • If the patient is a minor, in which case one parent may accompany the patient.
  • If an adult patient needs assistance with mobility, hearing, etc.

We ask that all non-urgent patient appointments be rescheduled if you:

  • Have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Are currently experiencing upper respiratory/flu-like symptoms including cough, fever, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headaches, sore throat, loss of taste or smell.
  • Have not been fully vaccinated and have recently been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

As a reminder, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued the following recommendations for controlling and minimizing the spread of the Coronavirus:

  • Wear masks.
  • Social distance.
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and running water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands that are visibly soiled.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • For more information about COVID-19, visit
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