The physician anesthesiologists, nurses, and staff at the UCLA Comprehensive Pain Center are pleased to offer world-class care for patients with painful conditions of all kinds. Our goal is to offer prompt, excellent, evidence-guided care in a patient-centered environment. We have five locations in Southern California so that you may be seen in the clinic most convenient for you, and we offer same-day appointments.
In this section:
Schedule an Appointment
Patients are welcome to call the clinic location most convenient to them to schedule an appointment. We currently have clinics in Santa Clarita, Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks, and Westwood, and the telephone numbers and addresses may be found at the Our Locations page on this website.
Depending on the type of insurance you have, you may need to obtain authorization before an appointment may be scheduled with one of our physicians. Authorization in advance is usually required by any type of HMO insurance.
Medicare patients must be referred by a physician for pain consultation and treatment services.
Patients with PPO insurance generally do not need to provide insurance authorization or referral from a physician. However, if a patient has not been seen before by a UCLA physician and has no records in the UCLA Health system, we ask for medical records to be sent from the last physician who treated the patient for pain, from the primary care physician, or from any other physician such as a neurologist or surgeon who is referring the patient for pain management.
Patient Education – Getting Started
A word of caution regarding medical information on the Internet
In the present age, there is no lack of available information. Good, reliable information, though, may be difficult to find. Much of the publicly accessible information on the web suffers from one or more of these critical flaws:
- Lack of evidence from current, validated scientific literature
- Lack of background information or context, making it difficult to interpret
- Use of medical terms that are unfamiliar to the public
- Bias due to political or social opinions advocated by the author
- Bias due to financial interests
Of these, the problem of bias due to financial interests is likely the most common and the most potentially harmful. The reality is that people and organizations with the most powerful incentives to publish on the web are those that stand to gain financially from your medical decisions. A significant portion of available medical “information” on the Internet is actually a form of advertising by commercial enterprises.
Where can unbiased information be found?
On this website, you will find material on many of the types of conditions we treat, and on the procedures performed by our physicians. The links to further information have all been carefully checked for accuracy by our physicians.
You may also find unbiased information in these Internet locations:
Online message boards and forum discussions may be a valuable source of support for patient who suffer from painful conditions. For example, online cancer support groups may be helpful for patients whose pain is due to cancer, and diabetes support groups may be helpful for patients with nerve pain due to long-standing diabetes. However, advice offered in these Internet groups should always be discussed with your physician, who can help you with the decision of what treatment or medication is best for you.
UCLA Health accepts Medicare assignment and private indemnity insurance, including a wide variety of HMO and PPO plans. We participate in over 100 local and national managed-care networks. For more information, please see the UCLA Health Plans information web page. Dr. Eric Hsu discusses insurance payment for alternative medicine treatment in this video.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How long will it take to get an appointment?
We offer same day appointments.
- What should I bring to my first clinic appointment?
The patient should bring a record of medications along with recent and relevant clinical notes, imaging, proof of insurance, and any authorization information.
- When should I arrive for my appointment?
You should arrive 30 minutes prior to a new office consultation and 15 minutes prior to a return visit.
- How can I access my medical records?
You may access relevant health information from myUCLAhealth. For comprehensive medical records, you will have to contact the medical records department.
- How can I contact my physician?
You may leave a message for your physician by calling the clinic. Alternatively, you may contact your physician on myUCLAhealth.
- What should I do to prepare for procedures?
- If you are having your procedure done without sedation, you may eat or drink before the procedure.
- If you are having sedation, please follow the instructions that the clinic staff will give you about when you should stop eating and drinking before your procedure.
- Please follow the instructions that the clinic staff will give you about which of your medications you should or should not take on the day of the procedure.
- If you are on blood thinners, please make sure you have specific instructions regarding these medications prior to the procedure.
- Unless otherwise specified by your physician, please make sure that you have a designated driver to pick you up from the procedure. You may resume driving 24 hours after your procedure.
- Please allow 2 to 3 hours for your entire procedure visit.
- Why is it important to find the right pain physicians?
- Why should I see a pain specialist?
- How does pain turn into chronic pain?
- What is multimodal pain relief or analgesia?
- Should I expect to be "pain free" after treatment?
- What causes back pain? And what treatments can help?
- What causes cancer pain?
- What is interventional pain treatment?
- What is the difference between a diagnostic and therapeutic procedure?
- Why is long-term opioid use a problem?
- What are possible side effects of opioids?
- Is there a difference between opioids and narcotics?
- What if I am already addicted to pain medicine?
- What is the difference between addiction and dependence?
- What is meant by multidisciplinary pain management?
- Why should I see a psychologist as part of pain treatment?
- How important is diet in pain management?
- What is the role of exercise in pain management?
- What is the role of acupuncture?
- Can eastern medicine or yoga help with chronic pain?
- "I had a compression fracture in my back, and was still in a lot of pain even after a kyphoplasty. You helped me stop taking narcotics, and gave me great advice about other pain medications, exercise, and how soon I could go back to work. After a year, I am completely pain-free."
- "Some days you may feel like you accomplished little, or did not help some individual enough, or maybe you just get tired. This is to say that you have had, and continue to make a huge difference in one man's life every single day. I am so grateful that you were born, and that I am lucky enough to know you and I feel so cared for."
- "It's never late to wish you the very best of everything. And thank you and your staff for all the care."
- "My visit was exceptional. Although I was in discomfort, my experience made the pain temporarily subside!"
- "Excellent staff experiences. Great office. Great care."
- "Unlike other physicians, I was not treated with arrogance and condescension. This was the first time I was treated like a person.”