Back Pain Specialist

Susan Gutierrez, MD

Interventional Pain Management Specialist located in San Ramon, CA

More than 80% of people all over the world experience back pain at some point in their lives. The expert team at Susan Gutierrez, MD, in San Ramon, California, helps adults improve their quality of life by relieving troublesome back pain. Call the office or book an appointment online today for personalized treatments for back pain.

Back Pain Q&A

What causes back pain?

Back pain can result from many different causes. The skilled team at Susan Gutierrez, MD, treats back pain and lower back pain that stems from a wide range of conditions, including:

Injuries

Traumatic injuries from car accidents or playing sports can damage the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your back. Muscle strain and ligament sprains are among the most common causes of low back pain. An injury may also cause a herniated disc, which can press on a nerve and cause back pain.

Degenerative problems

As you grow older, degenerative changes affect the discs and vertebrae of your spine. This may lead to degenerative disc disease, spondylosis, and arthritis of the spine.

Nerve and spinal cord problems

Spinal nerve compression, also known as a pinched nerve, is a common cause of low back pain that radiates into your hip, buttock, and leg (sciatica). Many things can cause nerve compression, including herniated or ruptured discs, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis.  

How is back pain diagnosed?

First, the team at Susan Gutierrez, MD, carefully reviews your medical history and asks how your back pain started. They perform a physical exam and may take tests, including:

  • Blood tests
  • X-rays
  • Discography
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • Electromyography (EMG) 

These tests help Dr. Gutierrez develop an individualized treatment plan. 

How is back pain treated?

Dr. Gutierrez always uses the least invasive and most current back pain treatments available, including:

Regenerative treatments

Regenerative treatments, including stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP), use substances found in your own body to stimulate your natural healing response. 

Epidurals

An epidural injection relieves pain and reduces swelling. The injection consists of an anesthetic medication to numb pain and anti-inflammatory medication for lasting relief. 

Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation uses a high-frequency electrical current to relieve low back pain. The current targets specific nerve cells and prevents them from sending pain signals. 

Spinal cord stimulation 

A spinal cord stimulator is an implanted device that sends electrical pulses to your spinal cord. These pulses block pain signals from your spine before they reach your brain. 

Other possible solutions for back pain might include nerve blocks, facet blocks, and joint injections. 

To learn more about your options for treating back pain, call Susan Gutierrez, MD, or book an appointment online today.