Dr. Hooman Melamed recently appeared on an episode of “The Doctors” to share three tips on how to prevent back pain. He encouraged viewers to follow these three tips to protect the spine, back and neck so that they “can stay away from spine surgeons and pain management doctors”.
Tip #1: Get up and move. Our bodies were designed to be active, so use them! Long periods of sitting can be detrimental to not only our backs and spines, but also our knees, hips and overall health. Dr. Melamed encourages everyone to move around often and strive to be active throughout the day.
Tip #2: Don’t pick up the phone. Yes, you can still answer your calls, but be mindful of how you hold the phone when you do. Too often, people tend to pick up the phone and tilt their head to balance the phone between their ear and their shoulder. This can put a great deal of stress on our necks and cause discomfort. Repeatedly holding the phone with your head and shoulder can also lead to long term problems and pain. Dr. Melamed recommends a headset if you need to speak on the phone with your hands free.
Bonus: Dr. Melamed also points out that with the emergence of cell phones, we spend a lot of time looking down at our screens. Constantly looking down negatively affects our posture and puts strain on our necks as well. To counter this, try holding your cell phone up in front of you, so that your neck and spine can remain straight.
Tip #3: Hang up the high heels. High heels may look good, but they can cause problems in the ankles, hips and back, if worn regularly, they can throw off the alignment of your spine and lead to neck problems down the road. Many women wear high heels to work, that’s ok, but Dr. Melamed recommends bringing a pair of sneakers as well, so as to minimize the amount of time spent in heels. He also stresses that sneakers should be changed once they get worn down. Worn out sneakers lack the proper support and can be just as harmful to your back and spine.