ER doctors such as Dr. Josyann Abisaab often encounter unpleasant, remarkably painful and slow-healing injuries. One of the most common is a wrist or elbow fracture. People occasionally lose their balance or are knocked over while participating in a physical activity like skiing or mountain biking. Instinctually, they put out a hand or two to break their fall. This can easily result in a major gash or fracture which could take weeks or even months to heal properly. Occasionally physical therapy is needed, too. Sometimes the hand goes behind the body to break a backwards fall, which can result in an elbow injury as well.

There are a few things that can be done in advance to prevent such injuries:

1.       Train your instincts. Practice falling on a safer surface, and train yourself to react by tucking in your chin and rolling with the initial impact. If you can, try to fall on the back of your shoulder as this is a strong area of your body.

2.       Practice regaining your balance in a quick manner. Use a bike, or think of other ways to flex your balance muscles.

3.       It is important to wear a helmet and wrist guards. They may seem foolish, but they really can make a significant difference in a fall.