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spineadvisor: Neck & Back Pain eNewsletter from September 10, 2008
Ask The Experts
Easy Fix to Spine’s Curve?
Ask the Experts Question

I am a 70-year-old woman, and for years, I’ve suffered with kyphosis. The upper part of my back is rounded, giving me a humpback look.  Occasionally, I have periods of pain related to the curve.  My doctor says that I don't have any fractures in my vertebrae that are causing the hump, so I guess this kyphosis is the effect of years of living.  I just read about balloon kyphoplasty on your site, and it seems like it could help straighten me out.  Do you think it would help?
—Lutherville, MD

Ask the Experts Answer

It sounds to me like you have postural kyphosis (but of course, I can't make an actual diagnosis without seeing you).  Poor posture over the years can cause kyphosis, or an extreme rounding of your upper back (also known as your thoracic spine).  Kyphosis can also affect the cervical spine, which is your neck.

Because you don’t have any spinal fractures—and that's a very good thing—balloon kyphoplasty isn't the best treatment option for you. Balloon kyphoplasty was developed to treat spinal fractures, so perhaps you could try...

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Nicola V. Hawkinson, RN, ANP This Week's Expert
Nicola V. Hawkinson, RN, RNFA, NP
Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
NYU - Hospital for Joint Diseases
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Back and Neck Pain
Is This What's Causing Your Neck Pain?
Is This What's Causing Your Neck Pain?

Do you know what's causing that pain in your neck? Here are a few typical causes, but if you've had neck pain for more than three weeks, call your doctor. It's time to find out the real cause.

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Aging Spine
It Happens to Us All: Aging

The years can take a toll on your spine—no surprise there. After years of carrying around weight and helping us move every which way, our spines can degenerate, or wear out. Here are a few common conditions that affect the spine (and there are tips in these articles on how to treat—and prevent—these conditions):

It Happens to Us All: Aging

Click the links to the left to learn more about your condition
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Featured Clinical Trial
Herniated Disc Patients Needed

The DuraGen Plus® clinical trial is for patients who will undergo a spine operation because of a ruptured or slipped disc. Men and women between 18 and 70 years of age who meet the eligibility criteria may be candidates to participate in this controlled trial. This study will specifically evaluate the safety and effectiveness of an experimental product, called DuraGen Plus® Adhesion Barrier Matrix, which may help to minimize post-operative scarring and the pain that may result from that scarring.

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Common Conditions:
Back Pain
Neck Pain
Degenerative Disc Disease
Herniated Discs
Low Back Pain
Osteoporosis/Spinal Fracture
Spinal Stenosis
Other Back Problems A-Z
Back Pain Videos
Learn about your spinal anatomy, see what happens to your intervertebral discs as you age, watch how an MRI is done, and more.

Back Pain Videos
Healthy Aging
No More Excuses

Do any of these excuses sound familiar?

I'm too old to exercise.
I'm scared exercise will hurt my back.
I'm intimidated by all the weights and weightlifters at the gym.

For healthy aging, you have to stay active and keep exercising—no excuses. Use this article to help you get past the excuses...and into a healthy routine.

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No More Excuses
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