Low Back Pain Specialist

Kenneth I. Light, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon & Spine Specialist located in Bay Area, San Leandro, CA including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Fremont, California

About 70% of people experience low back pain during their lives. Persistent low back pain frequently causes problems with work, relationships, and mental wellness but you can live without those burdens if you get help from leading spine specialist Dr. Kenneth I. Light, MD. At his office in San Leandro, Dr. Light uses emerging innovative treatments that can help — even if you’ve had failed back surgery before. Call the office nearest you or click the online booking tool.

Low Back Pain Q & A

What causes low back pain?

Low back pain makes life very difficult for millions of Americans. There are many low back pain causes, including:


Spondylolisthesis occurs when one of your spinal vertebrae moves out of place, onto the vertebrae underneath it. That can cause low back and leg pain. 

The most common cause of spondylolisthesis is intervertebral disc thinning due to aging, which sets the stage for vertebral shifting. A stress fracture in a vertebra (spondylolysis) can potentially cause vertebral movement. Injuries, spinal tumors, and failed low back surgery can also cause spondylolisthesis.  

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis occurs when the spaces inside your spine shrink, leading to pressure on the nearby nerves. In addition to low back pain, spinal stenosis can also cause numbness, pins-and-needles sensations, and muscle weakness. 

The usual cause of spinal stenosis is wear-and-tear damage from osteoarthritis. 

Herniated discs are another cause of spinal stenosis and may cause low back pain even when spinal stenosis is not present. Other causes can include spinal deformities like scoliosis and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Although spondylolisthesis and spinal stenosis most commonly cause low back pain, both conditions can also occur within your neck to cause severe neck pain. 

There are several other causes of low back pain, including trauma sustained in motor vehicle accidents. Dr. Light is a spinal specialist who can diagnose the problem and recommend the ideal treatment.

When do I need medical care for low back pain?

In general, if mild-to-moderate low back pain doesn’t fade away in a week or so, it’s time to book an appointment with Dr. Light. But, if you have severe low back pain, it’s always best to seek care sooner rather than later. When you get help early, you can stabilize your spine to prevent more complicated and difficult surgeries later.

If your previous doctors told you that your low back pain isn’t treatable, if you’ve already undergone failed spinal surgery, or you’re facing a future of narcotics and highly restricted activity, contact Dr. Light. He’s called “the doctor of last resort” for a reason — Dr. Light successfully treats many patients who other doctors can’t help.

How do you treat low back pain?

Conservative care, like rest, physical therapy, and short-term oral medication, may help with certain types of back pain. But, when you’re dealing with structural irregularities inside your back, surgery may be the best solution for a low back pain cure.

Dr. Light offers low back pain surgery using highly specialized methods, which ensures the best success rates. Surgical methods include disc replacement, in which Dr. Light installs a new artificial intervertebral disc, and spinal fusion surgery, in which he uses a hip bone graft to restore displaced vertebrae. 

For back pain help from a premier specialist, call Dr. Kenneth I. Light, MD, or click the online booking tool.