Skip to Main Content

Center for Pain Medicine

The UCSF Center for Pain Medicine provides comprehensive care for a broad range of pain conditions. Our main clinic is located at UCSF's Mount Zion campus, and we have satellite campuses elsewhere in San Francisco and Marin. We see nearly 1,000 patients each month, many through telehealth options, such as video visits.

Chronic pain is complex and often requires a multifaceted approach, so we have a diverse team of providers who collaborate closely to develop an individualized plan for each patient. Our pain care team includes specialists in anesthesiology, neurology, internal medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and integrative medicine, as well as psychologists and a nurse practitioner. All of the doctors are also board-certified in pain medicine.

We evaluate and treat all types of chronic pain, including pain associated with illnesses and injuries; postsurgical pain; and pain syndromes, such as fibromyalgia and complex regional pain syndrome. We offer both conventional and complementary treatments that have been shown to alleviate pain, including medications, surgical and nonsurgical procedures, and psychological interventions. Indeed, we seek to stay abreast of all proven pain management therapies and to provide them appropriately.

Our services include:

  • Medication management (working with your other providers, including your primary care provider)
  • Psychological care, such as mindfulness-based stress reduction, cognitive behavioral therapy and biofeedback (in both individual and group settings)
  • Injection treatments, including trigger point injections and ultrasound- or X-ray-guided steroid injections and nerve blocks
  • Radiofrequency ablation (applying electrical current to nerves in order to block pain signals to the brain)
  • Regenerative therapies to accelerate healing and regrowth of injured tissues, such as prolotherapy (joint injections that may trigger connective tissue growth) and platelet-rich plasma therapy (injections using a patient's own platelets)
  • Infusion therapy with medications, such as ketamine
  • Minimally invasive lumbar decompression (to treat spinal canal narrowing that's compressing nerve fibers)
  • Neuromodulation (delivering electrical stimulation or drug infusions directly to nerves)

We work with other members of your health care team, including your primary care provider, to develop a plan that addresses all the factors involved in your pain. One of our goals is to empower patients by teaching them about their conditions. We can then partner with them to identify the best methods of relieving pain, promoting healing and improving quality of life.

Established in 1994, the UCSF Center for Pain Medicine has been designated a clinical center of excellence in pain management by the American Pain Society. It also now houses the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education's program in pain medicine, which trains the next generation of leaders in this specialty.

As part of our commitment to improving care for chronic pain, the center has many ongoing clinic trials, which are studies that use human volunteers to investigate potential new treatments. We notify current patients if they're eligible to take part in a study, but you don't have to be a UCSF patient to participate.

Conditions we treat

  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Cancer pain
  • Central pain syndrome (usually associated with stroke)
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headache
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Myofascial pain
  • Nerve pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Postsurgical pain
  • Post-traumatic pain (pain that persists after an injury has healed)

Learn more about clinical trials and how they work.

Doctor referral required

Our locations

Expand Map

    Decorative Caduceus

    Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Chronic Neuropathic Pain

    Change in visual analog scores (VAS) of pain intensity on 0-100 mm scale. 0 indicates no pain, 100 indicates most pain imaginable.


    Support services

    Patient Resource

    Case Management & Social Work

    Connect with a team that can help you find resources, solve problems and advocate for you during treatment at UCSF.


    Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Class

    This eight-week class teaches mindfulness practices that can reduce stress and improve your overall health, such as meditation and body awareness.

    Patient Resource

    Patient Relations

    We welcome feedback about your experience at UCSF Health. Find out how to contact us with comments, questions or concerns.

    Patient Resource

    Spiritual Care Services

    Chaplains representing many faiths are available around the clock to provide support, comfort and counsel to patients, families and caregivers.

    Preparing for your appointment

    What to Bring

    • Photo I.D.
    • Health insurance card
    • Insurance authorization, if required
    • Doctor's referral, if required
    • Recent test results related to your condition
    • List of your medications, including dosages, plus any you're allergic to
    • List of questions you may have
    • Device or paper for taking notes

    International Services

    If you live outside the United States and are coming to UCSF for medical treatment, our patient liaisons can help coordinate all aspects of your visit.

    Learn more

    Interpreting Services

    UCSF offers interpreters in various languages, including American Sign Language (ASL), as well as services for deaf, hard-of-hearing and visually impaired patients.

    Learn more

    Hospital Stays

    Make your hospital stay as smooth and comfortable as possible by finding out how to prepare and what to expect.

    Learn more

    Your Doctor Visit

    See our top 10 tips for making your UCSF doctor’s appointment as stress-free and productive as possible.

    Learn more

    Related clinics

    Osher Center for Integrative Health

    1545 Divisadero St., Fourth Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94115

    Precision Spine and Peripheral Nerve Center

    185 Berry St., Lobby 6
    San Francisco, CA 94107

    Can't find what you're looking for?

    UCSF Help Center

    (888) 689-8273