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spineadvisor: Neck & Back Pain eNewsletter from April 8, 2009
Introducing SpineUniverse Radio
SpineUniverse Radio Show

Every Wednesday at 2:00 pm EST/1:00 pm CST, streams SpineUniverse Radio. This engaging program is aired live, with podcasts of archived shows also available for download.

SpineUniverse Radio features discussions with the top back and neck pain experts, and this week Dr. Jason M. Highsmith discusses the most dangerous sports for your spine. Are you putting your back at risk?

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Featured Condition
How Much Do You Really Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis?

This quick resource answers all your rheumatoid arthritis questions—from potential causes to what medications are best.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis
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The Pros and Cons of Spinal Fusion Surgery
Ask the Experts Question

What are the drawbacks of having a fusion after decompression to treat spinal stenosis? Will I still be able to bend properly or will there be problems in doing so?
—Lebanon, PA

Ask the Experts Answer

While there are some drawbacks to having a fusion, let's first address the advantages. A decompression surgery relieves nerve pain by making more space around the spinal cord and nerve roots. However, decompression can often lead to instability at the affected level.  ("Level" is the word doctors sometimes use to refer to individual vertebra.) 

Sometimes when enough bone is removed to decompress the nerves, the discs and facet joints can no longer maintain proper stability.  When this happens... 

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Jason M. Highsmith, MD This Week's Expert
Jason M. Highsmith, MD
Charleston Brain and Spine
Charleston, SC
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Spinal Fracture Treatment Option

If you have a spinal fracture, there are treatment options. Pain relievers can help relieve the discomfort caused by a spinal fracture, but they do nothing to address the fracture itself.  In fact, treatment with pain relievers alone allows the fracture to heal in a permanently deformed state.

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Common Treatments
Drugs and Medications
Interventional Pain Management
Physical Therapy
Find a Relax The Back Store Near You
Back Pain Videos
Visual Learners Wanted

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
Will This Get Rid of Back Pain?
Topical Drugs for Back and Neck Pain
Topical Drugs for Back and Neck Pain

Topical medications—including creams, oils, gels, and ointments—may help alleviate your back and neck pain by reducing inflammation and soothing nerve pain. But they’re not for everyone.

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