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When it came time to discuss cover image ideas for this issue, we had a tough time deciding whether we’d shine the spotlight on headaches or backaches. That’s because both migraines and back pain are all too common, and the chances are pretty high that you or someone you know suffers either from migraines or back pain that requires some kind of intervention.

In our cover feature (“Back Story,” page 28), Sheila Mickool focuses on some of the groundbreaking work that local spine surgeons are doing to bring pain-free movement back into the lives of people who never thought it was possible. New technology and techniques, developed and implemented by an interdisciplinary Group Health team, are making the thought of spine surgery less daunting than before.

Writer Stacey Schultz moves us from back aches to head aches, reporting on what new research is revealing about migraine (“Head Rest,” page 22), a condition that at least 36 million Americans—the majority of them women—suffer from, as well as what new treatments are becoming available as a result of that research.

We also look at the state of alternative medicine in Seattle and Washington state, one of the hotbeds of alternative medicine treatment (“Consider the Alternatives,” page 36). From rules that set some high standards for natural medicine providers to practitioners who combine alternative and traditional medical treatments, we decode some specialties and look at the many treatment options available.

We hope that you find these stories, along with a great round up of health news and interviews helpful in your quest for good health. Want more? Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, which is full of even more local health tips and trends to take you through the spring and summer. Sign up right here on our website.

Be well,

Niki Stojnic, Editor

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