Fall On An Outstretched Arm

Fall On An Outstretched Arm

Its finally fall, temperatures are dropping, and depending on where you live, there may be ice issues. With ice issues come slips and falls. Slipping and falling on an outstretched arm is a common occurrence during the winters, and often leads to wrist, elbow, or shoulder injuries. This is often dependent on how the person fell and landed.

Fall on an outstretched arm
Fall on an outstretched arm


Today’s issue brought to you by the farewell tour of Robert Turbin’s elbow

For those of you who are squeamish, you may want to look away. This injury is not for the faint of heart and/or stomach. Colts Running Back Robert Turbin dislocated his elbow last night, and it made me think of all of the upper extremity injuries that are waiting to happen this winter. General strengthening of the upper body will always be helpful, but some accidents and injuries are simply unavoidable.


So how can you avoid injuries during a fall (especially on an outstretched arm)? Overall conditioning, and strengthening in full ROM are always a good choice and physical therapists can help you with that. Performing proper warm ups before workouts will help keep the upper extremities limber. But as far as prevention of injury (or falls in general) proper falling techniques are a good thing to learn from a physical therapist, and having them teach proper mechanics in lifting, falling, and rolling can help avoid more serious injuries. Improving balance and proprioception (big word for the body’s ability to sense itself and what is around it) can help as well. Working with a therapist to improve your balance can help prevent some slips, trips, and falls (which can eventually lead to surgeries and possible infections).

So lets stay upright this winter, and if you feel like you are falling, tuck your arms in and roll, fight the urge to reach the arms out to break your fall.

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