7 Things You Didn’t Know You Should Be Avoiding (According to Our Doctors)

7 Things You Didn’t Know You Should Be Avoiding (According to Our Doctors)

Could some of your habits be counterproductive to your overall well-being? Our experts weigh in.

We reached out to four of our Keck Medicine of USC doctors to get the inside scoop on 7 things you might be doing that could have a negative impact on your health.

Rose Taroyan, MD, MPH, a family medicine specialist at Keck Medicine and clinical assistant professor of family medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, shares her insights on good posture and the pitfalls of doing online research on medical conditions.

1. Sitting with poor posture

When you sit with poor posture for a long period of time, multiple things can happen. You can develop back pain. Your energy levels can decrease, which affects your mood. Your stress levels can increase because your chest is compressed. When your chest is compressed, it causes your lungs and heart to work harder. Poor posture also compresses other organs and causes improper digestion. Improving your posture can help prevent all of those things from happening. Stretching regularly, yoga and Pilates can all help strengthen your core and support your spine.

2. Googling medical symptoms

Googling medical symptoms generally leads to an incorrect self-diagnosis and anxiety. Instead of searching the internet for medical answers, try scheduling regular checkups with a primary care provider who can put your mind at ease and directly address your concerns.

Eric W. Tan, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at Keck Medicine offers his recommendations on footwear and exercise routines.

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3. Wearing high heels or shoes that are too tight

Wearing high heels or shoes that are too tight puts you at risk for developing bunions and blisters. Bunions are deformities in the big toe, which can lead to pain. Wear shoes that are comfortable and allow space for your toes. Your feet will thank you.

4. Doing the same workout every day

Repeating the same workout daily is not necessarily a bad thing, but it will make it difficult to lose and keep weight off. The body adapts to the workout and will adjust to maintain your current weight. You should devise a balanced workout schedule that involves different activities and intensities. This will keep your body guessing and, ultimately, help you better reach your goals.

Karla O’Dell, MD, a laryngologist at Keck Medicine and assistant professor of clinical otolaryngology – head and neck surgery at the Keck School, shares information about cough drops, the speakerphone on your mobile device and a common misconception about whispering.

5. Taking cough drops

Although taking cough drops may feel soothing, they can actually make your cough and throat irritation worse. Cough drops often contain menthol and other substances that significantly dry the throat. This dryness can worsen your cough and throat discomfort. Instead, look for glycerin-based cough drops, sugar-free hard candy or drink small sips of water to help soothe your throat.

6. Using speakerphone.

When you use the speakerphone while driving, working at your desk or at a meeting, you are forcing your voice to speak loudly. Over time, this can cause trauma to the vocal cords. Instead, use a good headset when you need to talk on the phone hands-free.

7. Whispering when you have a sore throat or laryngitis

It is quite common to whisper when your throat is sore or sounding hoarse. But whispering is actually more harmful to our vocal cords. Whispering requires more effort than using your voice at a regular volume, which can cause injury to the voice box. When you have a sore throat or your voice is hoarse, resting your voice and speaking at a regular volume is a much better alternative.

by Leonard Kim

Are you in search of exceptional medical care? The experts at Keck Medicine can help. If you’re in Southern California, request an appointment or call (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273).