The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Health & Fitness

August 11, 2013

Treating back pain without surgery


* Acupuncture

* Chiropractic care

* Massage

* Yoga

Can back pain be prevented? Some back pain may be unavoidable throughout the course of your life, but there are some things you can do to decrease your risk.

* Exercise. Low-impact activity that doesn’t strain or jolt your back can increase your strength and flexibility. Walking and swimming are some popular options.

* Build muscle strength. Abdominal and back muscle exercises — also called core-strengthening exercises — help condition your muscles to protect and support your back.

* Maintain a healthy weight. If you’re overweight, you’re putting an extra strain on your spine and its support muscles. Maintaining a healthy weight can prevent back pain and also ease the symptoms more quickly.

* Posture. Good posture can reduce the amount of stress on the spine. Choose furniture with proper lower back support. When lifting objects, let your legs do the work. Keep your back straight and bend at the knees. If something’s too heavy or awkward to lift, find someone to help you.

John Jakovich, M.D., is a Mayo Clinic Health System physiatrist. Dr. Jakovich will give a Speaking of Health presentation on back pain that is open to the public Aug. 20, at 7 p.m. at New Prague.

For more information, please go to

Health & Fitness coverage is supported by Mayo Clinic Health System, preserving the health and well-being of southern Minnesota communities.



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