• Don’t go to sleep with your neck poorly positioned. Use a supportive pillow and avoid sleeping on your stomach, which forces your spine in an unnatural position.

The Mechanics of Movement How you move can also impact your spinal health. To avoid

back pain, medical professionals recommend the following ad- vice:

• When seated for long periods of time, make sure you get up every 30 minutes to stretch and walk around. The back can get stiff during sedentary periods. Not to mention, your posture is prone to worsen the longer you sit.

• When lifting an object, squat with one foot slightly in front of the other, back straight, and bending at the knees. Lifting is one of the most common causes of back injury. So, it’s impor- tant to always practice proper lifting—and never twist your back when lifting an object.

• Warm up before physical activity. When you exercise or partake in any type of recreation (even gardening!) without warming up first, you’ll be more prone to injury. Warm up by stretching and doing a few movement exercises to prepare your back for activity.

The Advantages of Adjustments & Acupuncture If, despite preventive measures, your back is still in pain,

chiropractic adjustment—also known as chiropractic manipula- tion, manual manipulation, or spinal manipulation—is a recom- mended treatment option. In fact, it can be a primary treatment for back pain! Chiropractic adjustments, which involve gentle manipulation and alignment of the spine, relieve pressure on joints, reduce inflammation, and improve nerve function. Patients often experience a vast improvement in back pain

from receiving adjustments. Many will experience significant relief from just one session, although regular adjustments are recommended to maintain proper spine function. Acupuncture is another common tool used to treat patients

with back pain. Most people associate acupuncture with needles, which are placed along invisible meridians throughout the body. However, lasers, magnets, and electric pulses can also be used to stimulate these areas. The ultimate goal of acupuncture is to unblock meridians

and channels to make room for vital energy, known as chi. This can reduce inflammation and improve circulation. When done in an area of the back or neck, back pain can be reduced. Many patients have found relief through this method.

Stop Suffering with Back Pain The methods for preventing and treating back pain are sur-

prisingly simple. Many traditional doctors will start with narcot- ics, spinal implants, or even surgery. However, usually the most effective approach is often the simplest.

Written by Joe Draper, DC of Advance Wellness, 515 College Road, Suite 11, Greensboro. For more information, visit www. or call 336-316-0827 for an appointment. See ad on this page.

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