Thursday, January 31, 2019

Protect yourself in winter temps!

These temperatures have been downright unbearable for outside exercise! Even though we’re expecting to rebound into “normal” winter temps soon, we wanted to share some great reminders from Dr. Jeff Brown, MD for the CT Sports Medicine Institute at St. Francis Hospital. Post your questions or experiences through the League of Injured Runners group on Facebook – request to join here.

Dr. Jeff Brown, MD for the CT Sports Medicine Institute at St. Francis Hospital. 

Hypothermia occurs when core body temperature dips below 95 F. Symptoms include: The "umbles": Grumbles (irritability), Mumbles (slurred speech), Stumbles (coordination problems), and Fumbles (dexterity problems). Also, uncontrollable shivering, lethargy, decreased heart rate, pale face and extremities, dizziness. 

Treatment includes removing wet clothing, warming with dry, insulating blankets, cover the head with hat or scarf, get to a warm environment.
  • Warm the core of the body first, then extremities
  • Have warm beverages, but not hot
  • Wear several layers of clothing 
    • 1st layer: wick moisture away from body (Dry Tech, Under Armour, etc.)
    • 2nd layer: trap heat and block wind - fleece
    • 3rd layer: wind and water resistant 
  • Cover legs with running pants designed to insulate, then top layer with wind pants or nylon shell 
  • Wear mittens or 2 layers of gloves and Hat 
  • Use face and ear protection (40% of heat loss is from head and neck)
  • Wear moisture wicking socks, not cotton
  • Also, hydrate, avoid alcohol and caffeine before run. 
  • Warm up before a run and run with a partner when possible 
  • Follow the weather closely 

In addition to hypothermia, we all need to be on the lookout for frostnip/frostbite - both are actual freezing of body tissues

Frostnip is when the top layer of the skin is frozen, but not permanently damaged. It's a precursor to frostbite. Symptoms include:
  • Dry, waxy skin
  • Burning/tingling of the skin
  • White/gray/blue patches
  • Swollen extremities
  • Aching, red, or painful extremities
  • Feels cold & firm to touch 

Frostbite is actual freezing of the skin and deep tissue that typically occurs on the extremities (fingers and toes) and face (especially the nose and ears). Symptoms include the same as frostnip and+:
  • Skin can turn black with purple blisters 
  • Intense aching, throbbing or shooting pain
  • Lack of feeling and movement in the area
  • Muscle and nerve injury is possible 
  • Get to a warm area, preferably inside 
  • Remove all wet clothing
  • Re-warm slowly in warm water (not hot) 
  • Avoid friction/rubbing tissue 
  • Seek medical treatment if symptoms do not resolve quickly in a warm environment 
  • Wear 3 layers of clothing (see hypothermia info above for details) 
  • Cover face and ears. Face masks work well 
  • Wear heavy mittens or glove liners under thick gloves - heat warmers can also help (follow their specific Instructions)
  • Wear moisture wicking socks 

No comments:

Post a Comment