Fear of ice? - Bellefleur
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Fear of ice?

This is a guest post written Meghan Fish-Bellefleur who suffers from an inflammatory arthritis known as Ankylosing Spondylitis to critique a product suggested to her.

After suffering with sometimes crippling pain and stiffness for approximately 2 years, I was finally diagnosed with an inflammatory arthritis and auto-immune disorder, Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). Now with all this new information I have been absorbing in regard to this disease, I have also developed fears of further aggravating my condition, particularly falling. I wouldn’t say I fall a lot, but I do have a tendency to be on the clumsy side and found myself taking a few mild tumbles down the stairs.

For the average person, a simple tumble may leave you sore and generally unscathed. Now for me, falling down can literally cripple me with pain and inflammation, so that explains the fear. When you are drugged on muscle relaxants to the point of not remembering a full day, I get scared at the idea.

Icy parking lot
Icy parking lot

So this brings me to my winter fear, ice. Living in Ottawa I am confronted with nasty ice for at least a few months out of the year.  I have to work to pay the bills and that means getting out of the car to walk to my office, but that also means confronting the ice. There are some days where I just won’t risk it and stay home, but this winter has been particularly nasty and I can’t afford to be away that much.

My husband, being a physiotherapist and thoughtful individual, purchased some inexpensive traction aids for me about 2 years ago when I first started having back pain. Do you think I used them in that time? Of course not. They have been sitting in the packaging all this time, while the skeptic in me assumed that nothing could get me across that frozen death trap.

Walking on ice with Traction Aids
Walking on ice with Traction Aids

Then there was yesterday, when I was forced to use them. Unless AS provided me with the Superman ability to fly, I was forced to put those $10 anti slip soles from the local Costco on my feet.

Guess what? I made it! I think I may have actually broke into a dance across the ice, not really, but my fears have really subsided. The spikes offer perfect traction on the ice and I wasn’t going anywhere.

Fear #98 overcome with this disease… now on to conquering a new one.

Commentary: The traction aids in question are the ‘Due North – Everyday Traction Aids’. They were purchased at Costco in Ottawa at the end of 2011 for $10-15, but were never used until January 11th, 2014. Runner’s World rates them in their Top 10 for Trail Running Gear. Overall, I think it’s a great product, the spikes bite into the ice quite well, they are very compact and inexpensive. Anyone who is at risk of serious injuries if they sustain a fall should seriously consider getting this type of product.

Due North - Everyday Traction Aids
Due North – Everyday Traction Aids
Jason Bellefleur
Jason Bellefleur is a multi-award-winning physiotherapist. Most recently, he was recognized as a 2016 Ottawa Forty Under 40 recipient and received numerous awards from the Orléans Chamber of Commerce (the 2011 Young Business Person of the Year, the 2012 Healthcare Professional of the Year and the 2014 Business Person of the Year awards). Jason is proud to be an Orléans resident and to raise his family in a bilingual community. He enthusiastically promotes local business within the Orléans area and frequently supports and participates in local events. Jason was recognized for his community involvement by receiving the Orleans 150 Community Builder award in 2017 by Ottawa-Orléans MPP Marie-France Lalonde. Jason firmly believes in high-quality one-on-one physiotherapy interventions. His treatment approach emphasizes hands-on intervention, continued client education, and active involvement by the individual to help them reach their full potential. By opening a clinic that offers 'Higher Standards of Care,' Jason wants his patients to feel confident that they receive the highest level of patient care available. As a result, he is also preventing injury and helping to improve their health and well-being.

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