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Dr. Rispoli Featured as Expert in PopSugar and Verywell Health

Dr. Leia Rispoli was featured in Verywell Health and PopSugar, two high-traffic health and wellness websites. In both appearances, Dr. Rispoli provided the same level of expertise and experience to readers she imparts on patients every day at DISC.

Verywell Health

Dr. Leia Rispoli in Verywell Health

The core of the work that DISC Sports and Spine Center experts do is to mitigate, manage and alleviate their patients’ pain. So it makes sense that Verywell Health asked Dr. Rispoli, a double-board certified interventional pain management specialist and physiatrist at DISC, for her insights on a new study that found that pain production may differ between the sexes.

Researchers from the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center found specific sex differences in nociceptors, the nerve cells that produce pain signals in response to damage or injury, according to Verywell Health. The study included looking at tissue samples from animals and humans, which showed that pain-producing cells responded differently based on sex. Data suggests that women experience pain conditions at a higher rate, but their pain isn’t necessarily being diagnosed and treated adequately, which leads to chronic, life-changing illness.

“While this study hints at how [sex] might play a role in the way pain is treated, it also underscores the fact that we are only seeing one potential part of a larger puzzle,” Rispoli told Verywell Health.

“We do not yet have a full grasp of how or why people may experience more pain than others, or maybe why certain patients with no obvious reasons for pain may still be experiencing pain at a high level,” she added. “Hopefully, more studies like this will help give us that full picture.”


Dr. Leia Rispoli in PopSugar

PopSugar sat down with Dr. Rispoli to get her thoughts on chronic pain syndrome, a “poorly defined syndrome that is most often recognized as debilitating pain that lasts longer than three months,” Dr. Rispoli told PopSugar. It’s important to note that in order for it to be considered chronic pain syndrome, the pain does not stem from an organ disease or structural damage from an accident, fracture, sprain, or bruise.

"It can be a low-level, constant pain, or it can be intermittent pain that limits normal daily function often described as dull or sharp or a nervy-like, electric feeling,” she said.

The condition also causes several areas of pain in the body which makes it functionally, emotionally, and socially debilitating, according to Dr. Rispoli.

Dr. Leia Rispoli"Statistics indicate that 20 to 30 percent of people experience chronic pain syndrome, but I would say it's probably under-served and under-recognized because patients are either too afraid or feel dismissed by seeking the wrong provider in terms of how to treat it or what options they have,” she told PopSugar.

While chronic pain syndrome often gets confused with complex regional pain syndrome, there are some specific characteristics that make them distinct.

The exact cause of complex regional pain syndrome is typically due to a dysregulation of the sympathetic nervous system, causing severe, debilitating regionalized pain in a limb that is often difficult to treat, Dr. Rispoli said.

Chronic pain syndrome differs from complex regional pain syndrome because there is always an inciting event with complex regional pain syndrome, whether it be a minor accident or major surgery, Dr. Rispoli told PopSugar.

Unfortunately, Dr. Rispoli told the outlet that there is no "cure" for chronic pain syndrome. The first step is to identify the stress or stressors that are responsible for the chronic pain through a thorough physical exam, blood work, and in-depth medical history, she said.

From there, treating chronic pain syndrome involves an individualized, multidisciplinary approach that can include various medications, physical and mental therapy, and/or lifestyle modifications, Dr. Rispoli told PopSugar. Patients may also be referred to a pain management specialist or pain clinic for further workups and treatment options. 

"I tell most of my patients coming in with chronic pain that we might not fix your pain 100 percent, but we are working together to find tools to help manage the pain," she said. "With the tools we have available to us now to treat chronic pain syndrome, it's important for people to know that there are doctors that can really help manage their symptoms."

If you’re experiencing chronic pain, consider scheduling a consultation with Dr. Rispoli or another one of DISC’s leading pain experts today.

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About the author

discmdgroup DISC Sports and Spine Center (DISC) is one of America’s foremost providers of minimally invasive spine procedures and advanced arthroscopic techniques. Our individually picked, highly specialized physicians apply both established and innovative solutions to diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate their patients in a one-stop, multi-disciplinary setting. With a wide range of specialists under one roof, the result is an unmatched continuity of care with more efficiency, less stress for the patient, and a zero MRSA infection rate. Read more articles by discmdgroup.

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