Famous Pitcher Encourages Americans to Get 'Back to Health'

Randy Johnson, two-time Cy-Young award winning pitcher,will participate in the North American Spine Society's first annual "Back to Health" week, April 9-15.

Two-time Cy-Young award winning pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Randy Johnson, will participate in the North American Spine Society's (NASS), first annual "Back to Health" week.

"Back to Health Week" is a national campaign designed to increase awareness of back pain and to assist Americans in keeping a healthy back, to be held April 9-15.

"By encouraging Americans to be more aware of their back and spine, we can help them maintain a healthy strong back," said NASS President, Dr. Neil Kahanovitz. "Randy Johnson is certainly a dramatic example of how to get 'Back to Health.'"

Johnson knows all too well the impact that back injury can have on your life.

In 1995, Johnson won the American League Cy-Young award while pitching for the Seattle Mariners.

During the 1996 season, he was limited to only 14 games due to back problems.

Johnson underwent surgery to correct an extruded disc herniation, followed by months of physical therapy.

Through hard work and determination, Johnson was able to return to baseball and capture the National Cy Young Award in 1999 with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"I actually feel better than I've ever been before, because of the process I had to go through to get healthy again," said Johnson. "I'm more aware of what I am doing with my back, I'm more aware of where my back is in the process of pitching and in everyday life."

In addition to Johnson's participation, "Back to Health" week will include a number of regional events, including Congressional "Back to Health Day," April 13, and a variety of educational materials.

A series of informational quizzes include Know Your Back!, Spine Quiz for Women, 10 Tips for a Healthy Back and Exercises for a Healthy Back.

NASS will also provide free physician referral service, as well as advice through its Web site at www.spine.org.

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