Back Pain Specialist

Carl Hess, MD

Board Certified Pain Management Specialist & Anesthesiologist located in Fullerton, CA

Back pain, particularly lower back pain, is the most common of all chronic pain syndromes. It affects roughly 80% of all adults in America at some point. If you’re suffering and want a long-term solution that doesn’t rely on medication, highly experienced board-certified interventional pain management specialist and anesthesiologist Carl A. Hess, MD, can help. Dr. Hess is experienced with virtually every treatment, procedure, and approach to back pain, and he’s ready to help Fullerton, California, patients find the optimal solution for back pain. Call the office or request your appointment using the online booking tool today.

Back Pain Q & A

What causes back pain?

There are many possible causes, including:


Sciatica is inflammation in your sciatic nerve the long nerve that goes from your lower back to your lower leg. It can cause intense back pain and sometimes radiating pain that shoots through your buttocks and thigh.


As you age, you can develop degenerative disc disease, in which the discs between your spinal vertebrae grow thinner and less able to absorb impact. This can lead to a dull ache in your lower back and sometimes more pronounced pain.


Many types of injuries, including auto accident injuries and workers' compensation injuries, can cause back pain. These injuries often present as lower back pain but can include any part of the back. Disc compression, disc herniation, and other disc injuries are often the underlying cause of back pain that starts with an injury. 

Myofascial pain 

Myofascial pain is lower back pain that’s usually related to repetitive stress. It causes small areas of very painful muscle fibers that form trigger points. Sometimes trigger points can also cause pain in other parts of your body.

Sacroiliac joint pain

Your sacroiliac joint absorbs shock in your lower spine. Increased stress on your sacroiliac joint, whether from injury, activity increase, or other factors, can trigger serious lower back pain.


Arthritis can attack any of the joints in your spine, but it often occurs in the vertebrae where surrounding discs are degenerating.


Neuropathy is nerve pain that may start in your lower back. Neuropathic pain can also radiate to your buttocks and leg. It may start with an injury or infection. 

There are also many other possible causes of back pain, including illnesses like fibromyalgia and lupus, along with skeletal irregularities and osteoporosis. Dr. Hess carefully considers your diagnosis to make customized pain relief recommendations for you.

How does interventional back pain treatment work?

Dr. Hess is familiar with virtually every back pain treatment, procedure, and approach. With 30 years of experience in interventional pain management, he knows what works best for your pain. He may suggest one or more of the following procedures.


Dr. Hess injects numbing, anti-inflammatory, and/or steroid medications during epidural, facet, joint, trigger point, or sacroiliac injections. Injections can stop your pain for weeks or even months.

Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation deadens persistently painful nerves in a specific part of your back. Dr. Hess performs this procedure using heat or a cold current to deaden the nerves. Results typically last 6-24 months.  

Regenerative medicine

Regenerative medicine treatments, including stem-cell and platelet-rich plasma (PRP), help your body regrow damaged tissue to stop your pain. Dr. Hess administers these treatments via injection.

Spinal cord stimulators

Dr. Hess implants spinal cord stimulators in the lower back, where the stimulator can mask pain signals, preventing your brain from perceiving pain.

Dr. Hess has extensive experience in all of these treatment approaches and also has many other treatment tools at his disposal to help you recover.

How long does my pain management treatment take?

It varies by treatment, but most procedures are outpatient and take a few hours or less. For some treatments, you’ll also need around an hour of recovery time at the office after your procedure.

Call Carl A. Hess, MD, today, or request an appointment for pain management online.