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Neck Pain Specialist

Leia Rispoli, MD

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

Neck pain is often highly disabling as well as distressing. Whether your neck pain results from an injury or age-related deterioration, fellowship-trained specialist Leia Rispoli, MD, can help. At her office in Marina Del Rey and Newport Beach, California, Dr. Rispoli offers a range of non-surgical treatments that address the causes of neck pain and effectively relieve your discomfort. To find out how she can help resolve your neck pain, call Leia Rispoli, MD, or book an appointment online today.

Neck Pain Q & A

What causes neck pain?

Neck pain originates in the complex structures that make up your cervical spine. Chronically poor posture, sleeping with your head at an odd angle, and spending hours bent over a keyboard or cell phone are all common triggers and causes of persistent neck pain.

You might suffer trauma to the neck in a fall, auto accident, or when playing sports. The effects of aging and years of wear-and-tear may also cause neck pain. Conditions that most often result in severe or persistent neck pain include:

  • Whiplash injuries
  • Herniated or bulging discs
  • Arthritis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Cervical radiculopathy

Radiculopathy — pinched or compressed nerves in the spine — is often the root cause of many cases of neck pain. All the conditions listed above can cause cervical radiculopathy.

Nerves pass through openings in your vertebrae as they exit your spinal cord (the delicate bundle of nerves inside your spinal canal that links to your brain). Any structure that is adjacent to this nerve root has the potential to contribute to radiculopathy.

In addition to pain, you might experience tingling, prickling, weakness, or numbness in your neck and down your arms. Neck pain can often travel upward as well, causing head pain.

How is neck pain diagnosed?

To diagnose your neck pain, Dr. Rispoli reviews your medical history and discusses your symptoms with you. It helps to be able to describe the pain — what it feels like, what makes it worse or better, and any other symptoms you’re experiencing.

Next, Dr. Rispoli performs a physical exam. She checks your neck carefully, then your shoulders and arms, assessing your range of motion, reflexes, and strength. She also looks for knotted muscles and areas of numbness.

With the information she’s gathered, Dr. Rispoli is likely to have a good idea of what’s causing your neck pain. If she needs to confirm her diagnosis, she might want you to have further tests.

The tests you need depend on the suspected cause of your neck pain but could include:

  • X-rays
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) study
  • Electromyogram (EMG)

In addition to confirming the diagnosis, these tests help Dr. Rispoli assess the extent of any damage to your cervical spine.

How is neck pain treated?

Dr. Rispoli creates a treatment plan for your neck pain based on her diagnosis. Treatments that might be in your plan include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Facet joint injections
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Nerve blocks
  • Regenerative medicine injections (PRP or A2M)
  • Spinal cord stimulation

Your treatments are likely to be conservative, to begin with, only progressing to the more advanced interventions if front-line approaches prove unsuccessful.

For an expert diagnosis and effective neck pain treatment, call Leia Rispoli, MD, or book an appointment online today.