The UCSF Pain Management Center 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 Pain Management Center 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)

Doctor referral required

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