Dr. Michael Merritt is a chiropractic physician who has resided in Cascade because 1995. Originally from Bettendorf, he went to Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport and finished in 1993.
He and his household invested a year in Arkansas, but came back to the area so they could be closer to family and friends, transferring to Cascade and taking control of the practice of an existing chiropractic specialist who wanted to retire. Therefore began Merritt Family Chiropractic.
Speaking from his understanding as a chiropractic practitioner, Merritt shared advice for staying safe and healthy throughout the winter months, which he states are an especially dangerous time of year for anyone's back.
” One thing I would state for the cold weather in Iowa is that the frightening days for any person, especially as people age, are those icy days,” he stated.
“You can not predict when you're going to slip or fall. Try to avoid the scenario where you might be out doing something and stay away from the ice. Ask yourself, ‘Do I actually need to go do that today today?' or ‘Will I be OKAY if I go to the shop tomorrow?' That's what I tell my clients. If it's one of those borderline days, why head out if you don't have to?”
In addition to the possibility of slipping, Merritt cautioned that snow shoveling is one of the most common perpetrators in triggering winter season neck and back pain.
He said, “Shoveling snow is the cause of a lot of the injuries we see here as a chiropractic specialist in the winter months. I'm constantly chewing out a few of my patients since they're shoveling snow and I've been telling them for many years to get a snowblower.
“The shoveling motion, especially if the snow is heavy and damp, can be very hard on your back and there are a lot of injuries, strains, and sprains that happen. The other prospective aspect with some individuals is heart matters. I always attempt to encourage individuals as they age to see if there's a younger neighbor or member of the family around that can assist them out.
“I'm a much larger fan of snow blowing over shoveling because that's where the injuries take place and in some cases even worse when there are heart attacks, which can be disastrous for people.”
In spite of these dangers, often snow shoveling still needs to be done. For these circumstances, Merritt suggested discovering methods to separate the time working to minimize pressure on the back.
“Maybe you can go out and do a little snow shoveling if you require to,” he said, “however go in after 10 or fifteen minutes and take a break, then come back after a half-hour and do ten or fifteen more minutes. That often will assist relieve the opportunity of an injury.
“You can also do it when it's snowing so if you get a couple of inches, do it now, and if there's a couple more coming, you take care of that. That method, you're not lifting that entire load simultaneously. Simply be clever about how you do things.”
The positions the body enters while shoveling, according to Merritt, are a few of the most susceptible ones the back can be in.
“It's difficult because scenario to do things properly,” he said. “You need to move it one method or the other. When it's heavy, you can't just press it directly ahead. That's where the injuries happen in some cases. It's extremely tough, since you have that rotation or twisting element, and most injuries to the back tend to take place when you're a little bent forward and turning or twisting to the side.”
Aside from shoveling, the basic inactiveness of the winter season can add to a decline in basic health.
“Motion is life,” said Merritt. “We need to be moving, especially as we're aging. When we enter into that inactive lifestyle, more and more problems can take place.”
In cold weather conditions, it's easy to understand for many people to not want to take walks outside for workout. Merritt suggests that the best option for those who don't have access to a treadmill or elliptical device inside is walking around your house.
“Walk hallways,” he stated. “If you have actions, walk up and down the steps. It gets a little boring, however you can do that 20 to 40 times throughout the day and get some energy and workout.”
With many individuals remaining inside during the winter season and 2020 encouraging a lot more inside life than normal, it's likewise essential to keep the body immune system correctly nurtured.
“The big part of this pandemic we've been handling since last year is that a lot of individuals are remaining in more,” said Merritt. “As we get to this time of the year, which is really hard for us anyway, there's a greater opportunity we're going to have a lack of exercise.
“Exercise benefits our immune system, which is among the crucial elements. Consuming properly, consuming the fruits, veggies, and proteins that are good for us, have actually been shown to assist your body immune system.”
According to Merritt, many people don't eat enough of the best food to get their dose of Vitamin D, secret to the combating of viruses.
He said that 80% of people that were hospitalized with COVID-19 had a shortage of Vitamin D, and it's essential to supplement that. Usually, the body will make Vitamin D naturally within 15 minutes of direct exposure to the sun.
Merritt also noted a number of other key elements to maintaining a healthy immune system.
“Vitamin C is also very important,” he stated. “There's a whole list. There's calcium, magnesium, zinc, all of these are virus fighters. The more we have in our system to eliminate off a virus, the much better, not just for COVID-19, but the influenza, which kills a lot of individuals every year. Anywhere from 30,000 to 70,000 people die from the flu every year, and these are all things that eradicate even the flu.”