At the UCLA Comprehensive Pain Centers, our physician anesthesiologists who specialize in pain medicine are experts in diagnosing and treating the full range of conditions that cause pain. Acute pain may result from an injury that occurs at work, while playing sports, or in an accident. It may also occur after a surgical procedure, or from a flare-up of a medical condition such as arthritis. If the pain doesn’t lessen after the usual recovery period, or continues for a prolonged time and interferes with quality of life, then it is considered chronic pain.
Depression, insomnia, interruption of personal relationships, loss of employment, and dependence on narcotics are just some of the harmful effects that may be caused by chronic pain. For these reasons, chronic pain is considered a serious medical condition that can and should be treated by physician-led care teams specializing in pain medicine. We offer treatment for all the conditions listed below.
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Back and neck pain are among the most common reasons for consultation with a physician who specializes in pain medicine. Pain may occur anywhere along the spine: the cervical spine in the neck, the thoracic spine in the mid-back, the lumbar spine in the lower back, or in the sacrum or coccyx at the lowest part of the back. Pain may result from different problems, including:
Dr. George Pan explains why surgery is sometimes needed for back pain in this video.
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Typically, pain after surgery will resolve in a few days to weeks. Sometimes, pain doesn’t go away or even becomes worse in the weeks to months following surgery. These postoperative pain syndromes may develop after a variety of different operations, including:
The nervous system itself can be the source of pain. The term for pain associated with specific nerves is “neuralgia”. The term “neuropathy” refers to a type of damage to the nervous system, which may be associated with diseases such as diabetes, or with medications used for cancer chemotherapy. Conditions with nerve-related pain include:
Dr. Parisa Sadoughi explains more about complex regional pain syndrome in this video.