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I have been

struggling with

back pain for

weeks. What should I do?


Pain is the body’s way of alerting

you that something is wrong.

Backache is one of the most common

complaints doctors hear. Luckily, many

cases of back pain are due to muscle

strain that, with treatment, can resolve

in just a fewweeks. Other causes of back

pain can be more serious. A herniated

disk, an injured vertebra, a slipped disk,

or arthritis can cause back pain that

requires more complex treatment.

Here are some ways to help alleviate

back pain:

Keep moving.

Light activity, like

walking, is often the best medicine for

back pain.

Maintain good posture.


can greatly increase the pressure on

your back by simply leaning over the

sink incorrectly.

Use relaxation techniques.

Research shows that practices such as

meditation, deep breathing, and yoga

can do wonders.

Apply ice and heat.

Cold packs

and heating packs can comfort the

strained area.

See a specialist.

There is no

magic aspirin for chronic back pain.

Some people need core strengthening,

while others may need stretching and

other exercises to improve flexibility.

A medical provider can help you

determine what is best for you.


Brian Ragel, MD

Spine Surgery

Rebound Orthopedics &


200 NE Mother Joseph Place,

Suite 210

Vancouver, WA


I will be having a

cesarean birth and

heard about skin-

to-skin. What is that?


Congratulations on your new

bundle of joy joining your


I am glad that you asked about this

important step in welcoming your

baby to the world. Skin-to-skin is the

practice of placing the newborn infant

on the mother’s chest as soon after

delivery as possible.

That skin-to-skin contact has a lot

of benefits for both mom and baby.

Infants transition to life outside the

womb quicker and in a more stable

fashion. Moms are more successful

with breastfeeding, and the mother-

infant bond is improved.

The practice has been commonplace

for mothers following vaginal

delivery, so we wanted to make sure

all mothers, regardless of how they

deliver, have the same opportunity for


If this is something that interests

you and your family, please talk to

your provider to determine if it’s right

for you.

Heather Weldon, MD

Obstetrics and Gynecology

PeaceHealth Medical Group –


505 NE 87th Ave., Suite 160

Vancouver, WA



I have diabetic


Is it treatable?


Diabetes damages the blood

vessels throughout the body,

including the eyes. In diabetic

retinopathy, blood vessels in the retina

(the back part of the eye) are injured,

and this can lead to these vessels leaking

and completely closing off. In other

cases, abnormal new blood vessels grow

on the surface of the retina, which can

bleed, leading to decreased vision.

Typically, the initial stages of diabetic

retinopathy are without symptoms. In

more advanced stages, symptoms can

include decrease in vision, floaters, and

even blindness. Diabetic retinopathy is

the leading cause of new blindness in

adults ages 25 to 74 years in the U.S.

The good news: Treatment is

available. In early stages, treatment is

often not necessary, except to closely

monitor your blood sugar, blood

pressure, and cholesterol. In more

advanced cases, laser treatments may be

necessary to seal leaking blood vessels

or discourage new blood vessels from

forming. Injections of medications into

the eye may be necessary to treat the

changes that have occurred to the retina.

If you have diabetes, schedule a dilated

eye examination each year. These

exams allow eye care professionals

to monitor your eyes for signs of

disease. Early detection and treatment

of diabetic retinopathy can greatly

reduce the risk of decreased vision.


David Valent, DO


PeaceHealth Medical Group –

Eye Care

505 NE 87th Ave., Suite 100

Vancouver, WA



and Baby



Monday, April 24,

10:30 a.m. to noon


Health Education Center

NE 92nd Avenue and

East Mill Plain Boulevard


Get more information at



We want all mothers

and their newborn

babies to have the

same opportunity for

skin-to-skin contact.