Pain Management

UCLA Health pain medicine experts treat all types of acute and chronic pain. We’re here to help you find the cause of pain and get relief so you can get back to the activities you enjoy.

Side view close-up of a doctor's hand checking neck bone
hands holding patient's hand and arm

Why choose UCLA Health for pain management?

At the UCLA Comprehensive Pain Centers, we offer world-class diagnosis and treatment of pain problems in a caring environment. Our team is specially trained to treat injuries, disorders and complex conditions that cause pain.

Highlights of our program include:

Board-certified team of experts: As part of the UCLA Health Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, all our doctors are board certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine. We’re leaders in pain management, uniquely qualified to deliver a precise diagnosis and innovative treatments.

Comprehensive diagnostics and tailored treatment plans: We offer a full array of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Our team uses the latest advances in pain medicine to determine the cause of pain and the best way to treat it. You receive a full evaluation and thorough care plan. We work with you to adjust medications and therapies if your needs change. Our goal is to deliver an accurate diagnosis and the safest, most effective treatments.

Whole-person care: Our pain management experts understand that physical discomfort can have a significant impact on your mental health and well-being. That’s why our approach to pain may include lifestyle changes, medications, therapy and pain management procedures. We work with specialists across UCLA Health to ensure you have the emotional support you need to feel better overall.

Our areas of care

Our board-certified physicians help people with all types of pain. The first step in pain management is to determine what’s causing it. Our doctors diagnose the cause of pain, develop the most effective treatments and adjust the plan if your needs change.

We have expertise in:

Acute pain relief

Acute pain is sharp or sudden pain that results from a specific accident or disease. It usually gets better when you heal or when doctors treat the injury or illness that caused it.

Our experts coordinate your pain treatment plan with your primary care doctor and other specialists. We ensure that you receive effective pain management for the root cause of the pain.

Chronic pain relief

Chronic pain lasts six months or more. It can result from many medical conditions and injuries. Chronic pain can linger from an untreated disease or injury, or it can go away and come back after treatment.

Our experts help people with even the most complex chronic pain. We specialize in relieving pain that hasn’t responded to previous treatments.

Emotional effects of pain

We understand that pain can have a significant effect on sleep, mental health, mood and quality of life. That’s why our services extend to the physical and emotional aspects of pain. We coordinate with specialists across UCLA Health to ensure you have the emotional support and care you need to feel better physically and mentally.

Pain-causing conditions we treat

Pain is a common symptom of numerous injuries, diseases, disorders and conditions.

Our pain medicine experts help you find relief from acute and chronic pain. They address pain that comes from multiple sources or hasn’t responded to previous treatments. We lead the nation in effective pain management and treatments for:

Back pain and neck pain

Back and neck pain is one of the most common reasons why people visit a pain medicine specialist. We know that back pain can be extremely debilitating. It can have a serious impact on your quality of life, cause problems with mobility and keep you from doing the activities you enjoy. Neck and back pain can result from injuries, conditions and diseases, including:

  • Bulging and herniated disc
  • Fractures
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sciatica (nerve pain that can extend down the legs)
  • Scoliosis (curvature of the spine)
  • Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal column)
  • Spinal tumors and growths (both cancerous and benign) that develop along the spine

Cancer pain

Pain can result from the cancer itself, or it can be a side effect of procedures and surgeries to treat cancer. Cancer pain can range from mild to severe and appear anywhere in the body.

Joint pain

A wide range of injuries and conditions can lead to joint pain in the spine, hips, knees, ankles, shoulders and fingers. Our experts work with you to reduce pain and increase flexibility and movement. We have experience treating pain from:

  • Arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Avascular necrosis, a lack of blood supply that causes the bones to die
  • Bursitis, an inflammation in fluid-filled sacs in joints
  • Injuries to the joints

Pain after surgery

Most of the time, pain after surgery gets better within a few weeks. But sometimes, pain can persist after surgery. Our physician experts find the cause of lingering pain and develop a comprehensive plan to treat it. We can help with chronic pain management after surgeries such as:

  • Amputations
  • Abdomen surgery, such as surgery to repair a hernia
  • Joint replacement surgery, including knee and hip replacement
  • Spine surgery, such as laminectomy, a procedure to remove part of a vertebra
  • Surgery to repair a broken bone

Nerve pain

Pain that originates in the nervous system can be complex and debilitating. Nerve-related pain results from damage to the nerves. Several medications and medical conditions, such as diabetes, can cause this kind of damage. Our team is specially trained to treat nerve pain, including:

  • Brachial plexus injury, which causes nerve damage in the arm and hand
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), a condition that causes pain, inflammation and skin changes, usually in the limbs
  • Diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve pain that results from diabetes
  • Peripheral neuropathy, which causes numbness in the hands and feet
  • Occipital neuralgia, a type of nerve injury that can cause painful headaches
  • Shingles, a type of nerve pain that occurs when the chickenpox virus is reactivated decades after the infection is gone
  • Trigeminal neuralgia, which is nerve damage that causes severe facial pain

Chronic pain disorders

Our team approaches chronic pain with compassion, expertise and proven treatments. We understand the impact chronic pain can have on your quality of life. It can affect sleep, work, relationships and more. We work with you to discover the treatments that make a difference. Our experts help people with:

  • Myofascial pain throughout the body
  • Fibromyalgia, which involves widespread muscle pain
  • Migraines
  • Spasticity (overactive muscle contractions) that can result from cerebral palsy (CP), multiple sclerosis (MS) or stroke

Pain treatments we offer

Our highly skilled specialists help you find pain relief using a combination of treatments. We offer:

Noninvasive pain treatments

Pain often gets better with conservative treatments such as medications, physical therapy and rest. Whenever possible, we prescribe nonopioid medications to reduce the risk of dependency. If your pain doesn’t respond to noninvasive treatments, we may recommend other options.

Injections for pain relief

Our board-certified anesthesiologists are skilled at delivering many types of injections. These procedures relieve pain, reduce inflammation and block overactive nerve signals. They work on the spine, inside the joints and on nerves all over the body. Injections also help your doctor diagnose pain by determining exactly where it’s coming from. These treatments are extremely effective and safe. Our physicians offer:

  • Nerve blocks: We inject numbing medication or anti-inflammatory medication directly into the source of pain. These procedures include epidural injections to relieve neck and back pain.
  • Sympathetic blocks: These injections relieve pain from chronic pain syndromes. The medication targets the part of the nervous system that controls involuntary functions such as blood flow and digestion. Our experts use X-ray or ultrasound to deliver treatments to the precise location of pain.
  • Joint injections: We administer corticosteroid medication to relieve pain in joints throughout the body.
  • Trigger point injections: Trigger points are muscle knots that develop when the muscles can’t relax. These injections relieve muscle and tissue discomfort from fibromyalgia and myofascial pain.
  • Botox® injections: These reduce pain from migraines and muscle spasticity by blocking the nerve signals that cause muscles to contract.


Kyphoplasty is a procedure to treat compression fractures in the spine. Using a hollow needle, we inject a type of cement into damaged vertebra. This procedure stabilizes the fractured bone and relieves pain.

Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation, also called neurotomy or rhizotomy, targets specific nerves without damaging other tissues. We use radio waves and safe doses of electrical currents to destroy nerves that are causing pain.

Implantable pumps

Our experts may recommend an implantable pump to treat severe back pain, abdominal pain and muscle spasms. We insert a pump, which is about the size of a hockey puck, during surgery. The pump slowly releases a steady dose of pain medication into the fluid-filled area around the spinal cord, providing consistent relief from pain.

Spinal cord stimulation

This technique helps people with chronic back pain or pain in the arms or legs. We insert a pulse generator under the skin that delivers a low-voltage current to the spine. The current blocks the feeling of pain. You adjust the current depending on your level of pain.

Meet our pain medicine team

Our physicians are board certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine. We bring together years of experience and expertise to treat pain that results from all types of injuries, disease, disorders and medical conditions.

Contact us

Our expert team offers customized plans and effective treatments for all types of pain. Call 310-794-1841 to connect with a pain management specialist.

Find your care

Our specially trained physicians offer customized care plans, effective treatments and pain management for all types of pain. Call 310-794-1841 to connect with a doctor who specializes in pain medicine.