NOVEMBER 8, 2012
Winter is upon us. Here are some tips to keep you healthy during the snowy/icy season.
by Physical Therapist Kenna Sikveland, Bozeman Deaconess Rehabilitation Services

Develop Safe Walking Habits
  • Pay attention to the ground underfoot while walking sunlight, shadows, recent snow removal activity, frozen ruts, curbs, steps and other obstacles can alter the degree of traction within a single step.
  • On slippery surfaces, slow down, shorten your stride and walk flat-footed to maximize contact with the ground.
  • Wear appropriate footwear and consider using ice grippers on your shoes/boots; using trekking poles to assist with balance; attach ice tips (small crampon-type devices) to any canes/crutches.
  • Try to stay strong and flexible year round this will improve your balance and ability to safely recover from small slips.
Protect Your Back When Using the Snow Shovel

We love snow piling up at the ski hill, but in our driveways ugh! Snow removal is a leading cause of low back injuries in the winter.
  • Warm up those joints and muscles before you pick up the shovel take a short walk, do a few knee bends and gentle trunk rotations.
  • Choose an ergonomically correct, lightweight shovel.
  • Maintain good body alignment while shoveling: Keep the shovel close to you, working in small movements. Push snow instead of lifting where able. Avoid twisting while lifting or moving the snow do not throw large loads over your shoulder.
  • Work at a comfortable pace and take breaks to relieve pressure on your spine by standing up straight and walking around for a few minutes.
  • Fresh snow is lighter and easier to move, so get to work!
Preventing Winter Sports Injury
  • Skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, hockey, and sledding can lead to sprains, strains, fractures, and dislocations.
  • Many injuries happen on the first run or the last run of the day. Give your body an adequate warm up before engaging in your chosen sport and stop when fatigued before your form starts to fall apart!
If an Injury Does Occur

See a doctor immediately if your fall or wreck results in:
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Deformity of the joint or limb
  • Inability to bear weight through injured limb
  • Severe swelling with numbness or weakness
  • Pain that does not subside with rest
Less severe injuries can often be managed initially with RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). If symptoms persist longer than two weeks, contact your physician or physical therapist for further evaluation. Most injuries respond more quickly to rehabilitation when treated during the sub-acute phase two to six weeks rather than letting a dysfunction become chronic. If your injury required surgery, your physician will determine at what stage of healing physical therapy is appropriate. Physical therapists are experts at restoring mobility and function and can play an important role in guiding your full return to life's pursuits.

For more information on Bozeman Deaconess Rehabilitation Services call 406-585-1002.


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Family Medicine


Recognized by National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Physician Practice Connections—Patient-Centered Medical Home program for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term participative relationships. Practices receiving recognition are Bozeman Deaconess Belgrade Clinic, Bridger Internal Medicine, Spinelli Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine Associates, and Family Medicine and Pediatrics.


Generally speaking, a family medicine doctor is a full spectrum physician who treats all members of the family providing continuous and comprehensive health care.

Bozeman Deaconess Family Medicine physicians deliver a range of acute, chronic, and preventive medical care services. In addition to diagnosing and treating illness, they provide preventive care, including routine checkups, health-risk assessments, immunizations, and screening tests, as well as personalized counseling on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Family physicians manage chronic illness, while coordinating care provided by other sub specialists.

Our family medicine physicians enjoy being a part of the whole family. Knowing the dynamics of multiple generations and caring for each is part of their approach to good medical care for the entire family.

Medical Home

Medical Home is a team-led, patient-centered approach to health care, where the patient is the most important player on their healthcare team. The patient and the medical home team develop a plan of care created specifically for the patient, focuses on wellness and prevention, keeps the patient connected with the health care team and coordinates care with other health care providers.

Bozeman Deaconess Health Group clinics each received NCQA Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home honors
Bozeman Deaconess Belgrade Clinic, Bridger Internal Medicine, Spinelli Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine Associates and Family Medicine and Pediatrics are recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term participative relationships. 

Recipient of 2011 Lighthouse Award for Innovation and Excellence in Immunization
Bozeman Deaconess Family Medicine and Pediatrics was awarded a 2011 Lighthouse Award for Innovation and Excellence in Immunization from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. The award, presented to a medical clinic in recognition of an outstanding immunization project, recognizes strategies that are evidence-based, evaluated for success and able to be replicated in other clinics.


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