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Back Pain Specialist

Leia Rispoli, MD

Interventional Pain Medicine located in Newport Beach, CA & Marina Del Rey, CA

Back pain can develop due to several structures of your spine, from the discs to the facet joints, to the various nerves and nerve roots of the spine. If you have persistent or severe back pain, fellowship-trained specialist Leia Rispoli, MD, can help. At her office in Marina Del Rey and Newport Beach, California, Dr. Rispoli delivers outstanding care using a variety of comprehensive and effective non-surgical treatments. To find out how she can help relieve your back pain, call Leia Rispoli, MD, or book an appointment online today.

Back Pain Q & A

What is back pain? 

Back pain occurs when there is injury or inflammation to certain structures of the spine or the surrounding tissues. This may include damage or degeneration of the vertebral bodies (the bones that make up your spinal column), the shock-absorbent discs that sit between the vertebrae, the cartilage that protects and surfaces the joints of the spine, or the nerve roots that provide sensation and strength to the arms and the legs.

Wear and tear, or degeneration to the above-discussed spinal structures is a natural process that comes with aging. Some may experience advanced or accelerated degeneration due to genetics, injury, or high-level activities for several years. Ligaments, tendons, and muscles may also suffer damage if acutely injured during sport or a traumatic incident that can also contribute to sudden and severe back pain.

With so many critical structures in your back that allow us to perform daily functions and basic activities, it is not surprising that back pain is such a common problem.

What’s causing my back pain?

Acute injuries might cause back pain, for example, sprains and strains or trauma from an accident or incident. Doing activities beyond your fitness level, using incorrect lifting techniques, and having poor posture are also frequently to blame for back pain.

However, some of the most common and persistent causes of back pain are chronic conditions such as:

  • Herniated or bulging discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Vertebral compression fractures
  • Sacroiliitis
  • Scoliosis (abnormal spinal curvature)
  • Arthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Sciatica (lumbar radiculopathy)

Radiculopathy is a frequent cause of back pain that can affect any part of your spine. It involves irritation or compression of a nerve that comes off the spinal cord and can be caused by a bulging or herniated disc, bone spur, or spinal stenosis.

In addition to pain, which is often sharp or shooting, radiculopathy can cause symptoms like numbness or tingling in your buttocks, hips, legs, or arms. You might also suffer from weakness or loss of strength or function.

What treatments can ease back pain?

Dr. Rispoli typically starts with the least invasive treatment options. These treatments, which are often highly effective, include specifically guided physical therapy and various anti-inflammatory or nerve pain medication, when appropriate. 

If you don’t improve with these methods, Dr. Rispoli offers a range of interventions that help ease back pain, including:

  • Facet joint injections
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Nerve blocks
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
  • Alpha 2 macroglobulin injections

For a few patients, even these advanced treatments don’t resolve back pain. If this is the case for you, Dr. Rispoli specializes in spinal cord stimulation.

A spinal cord stimulator is an implantable device that disrupts the pain messages your nerves send to your brain. Instead of feeling pain, you might sense a tingling sensation or feel nothing at all, depending on the type of stimulator you have.

To find a treatment that genuinely relieves your back pain, call Leia Rispoli, MD, or book an appointment online today.