Kettering Health | Strive | Fall 2022 19 What does good posture look like? Many people’s daily habits add up to a lifetime of poor posture. Continually hunching to look at your phone, straining to see your computer, or carrying a heavy purse can lead to rounded shoulders and a hunched back. Take control of your posture by making a few simple adjustments: 1 Be mindful of your nutrition, focusing on eating lots of fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fat. You can work with a dietitian if you need extra support sticking to a healthy eating plan. 2 Exercise regularly, including aerobic activities, core strengthening, and flexibility exercises. A physical therapist or athletic trainer can help you increase your activity levels safely. 3 Maintain good posture as often as possible. This may mean adjusting your workstation by raising your computer monitor height or investing in a new chair. When to visit your doctor You might not need to see a doctor immediately. Sometimes, resting, icing your back, and stretching can relieve your symptoms. However, Dr. Dunlap advises that if acute pain lasts for more than a week or two, it’s time to see your primary care provider (PCP). “Your PCP will take a history of the event and perform a physical exam. This helps them determine what the inciting factor may be, your response to previous treatments, and possibly form a new treatment plan.” Dr. Dunlap says that physical therapy is usually a good starting point for most patients. Others may also benefit from treatments such as muscle relaxants, chiropractic spinal adjustments, or medical acupuncture. Do I need medical treatment for back pain? “The vast majority of patients with back pain will improve with nonoperative measures,” says Dr. Dunlap. But if noninvasive treatments aren’t effective, you might see a pain management specialist. At Kettering Health Brain & Spine, pain specialists help you improve back pain through treatments such as steroid injections. If needed, our team of spine surgeons also offers multiple surgery options to treat any underlying conditions and improve your quality of life. HEAL THE HURT If you’re experiencing sustained back pain, schedule an appointment with a Kettering Health orthopedic and sports medicine physician. Call 1-877-930-9354 today. 1 Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. 2 Avoid locking your knees. 3 R oll your shoulders back and keep your head in line with your body. 4 Pull in your belly slightly. 5 Distribute your weight evenly across your feet. 6 Let your hands fall naturally at your sides.