The UCSF Pain Management Center at Mount Zion cares for patients with complicated and chronic medical, surgical or neurological pain. Our center – one of the few such centers in Northern California – averages about 800 patient visits a month. We have a team of doctors and therapists whose specialties include anesthesia, neurology, medical psychology and physical therapy.

Chronic pain is a multifaceted medical problem that affects all aspects of life. The Pain Management Center seeks to address the range of issues brought about by pain. Our team reviews each patient's case to determine the best combination of therapies for that individual. We work closely with the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Patient involvement and education are important components of our program.

In 2007, our center was one of six nationwide to be designated a clinical center of excellence in pain management by the American Pain Society. We were recognized for offering patients outstanding pain care and for creating educational programs on pain management for busy practitioners.

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Our Services

Services at the center include:

  • Evaluation of complex pain problems
  • Regional anesthesia, or nerve blocks
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Physical therapy
  • Guidance on home exercise and physical activity
  • Medication assessment
  • Individual and couples psychotherapy and psychoeducation (education on mental conditions)
  • Stress management and relaxation

Types of Pain We Treat

  • Back pain
  • Neuropathic, or nerve, pain
  • Pain caused by cancer
  • Musculoskeletal or rheumatologic pain
  • Post-injury or postsurgical pain

Our Research

The center is often the site of clinical trials, which are studies of potential new therapies. We will notify current patients if they're eligible to take part in a study, but anyone with chronic pain may inquire about ongoing research. You don't have to be a patient at our center to participate in a clinical trial.

Doctor referral required

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    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

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