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Spinal Stenosis Specialist

Leia Rispoli, MD

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

As you get older, changes in your spine can reduce the space for your nerves, causing symptoms of spinal stenosis. If you’re trying to overcome back or neck pain that could be due to spinal stenosis, fellowship-trained specialist Leia Rispoli, MD, can help. At her office in Marina Del Rey and Newport Beach, California, Dr. Rispoli offers effective therapies that reduce inflammation and give your nerves more space. To benefit from her expertise in treating spinal stenosis, call Leia Rispoli, MD, or book an appointment online today.

Spinal Stenosis Q & A

What is spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a term for narrowing in your spinal canal or nerve roots, that can lead to back pain, neck pain, and/or arm or leg pain, numbness, or weakness. It usually develops in later life but doesn’t always cause symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, they vary depending on which part of your spine it affects:

Cervical spinal stenosis

The cervical vertebrae make up your neck. If you have cervical spinal stenosis, you might experience chronic neck pain and sensations like tingling and prickling in your arms. You might also develop numbness and lose some of your strength.

Lumbar spinal stenosis

The lumbar vertebrae form your lower back. If you have lumbar spinal stenosis, you might have pain in your hips and buttocks that travels into one or both legs (sciatica). You may also feel sensations like heaviness, tingling, weakness, and numbness in your legs. 

Spinal stenosis symptoms tend to be more severe when you’re upright. Sitting, especially leaning forward, opens up space in your back that eases the pain.

What causes spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis develops when the space inside your spinal canal is decreased. This may be due to age-related processes to the discs, acute disc herniations, or bone spurs. The narrowing may lead to nerves roots facing irritation or pressure as they exit your spine. Most commonly this results from the effects of aging conditions like osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease.

Osteoarthritis develops when you lose the protective cartilage on the bones in your spine. The bones rub together painfully, causing inflammation and bone spurs that can narrow the canals of the spine. 

Degenerative disc disease occurs very often as a natural aging process. This happens when shock absorbent pads between the vertebrae (discs) become dehydrated, weaker, and flatter over the years. This can alter your spinal alignment and may often lead to disc herniations, protrusions, or a disc extrusion when the disc ruptures and the inside protrudes into the spinal canal.

These problems may also cause the ligaments in your spine to thicken, further reducing the space for your nerves. If the nerves get pinched or irritated, it results in the symptoms of spinal stenosis.

How is spinal stenosis treated?

Dr. Rispoli aims to use the most effective treatments to reduce the pressure on your nerves that causes spinal stenosis symptoms. She designs your treatment program to suit your individual needs, but options include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Stretching and strengthening
  • Anti-inflammatory or nerve pain medications
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Facet joint injections
  • Vertiflex procedure
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation

If these treatments don’t relieve your symptoms, Dr. Rispoli specializes in minimally invasive procedures, such as Vertiflex and spinal cord stimulation. Vertiflex procedure involves using a small titanium spacer to decompress the nerves through a minimally invasive non-surgical outpatient procedure. Spinal cord stimulation involves using electrical signals to stop pain messages from reaching your brain.

If you’re developing signs of spinal stenosis, contact Leia Rispoli, MD, to schedule a consultation. You can also use the online booking form to arrange an appointment.