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Treatment Plans for Chronic Pain

Because chronic pain often exists in the absence of any obvious root biological cause and can be very difficult to resolve, our care teams focus on identifying several modalities that together can safely alleviate pain.

In some cases, consults with a mental health care professional can also help a person learn to cope with and manage pain. 

Healthy Living

Healthy living can reduce pain. It also positions patients for success if a more invasive procedure, such as surgery, is eventually needed.

Our patients are generally encouraged to:

  • Exercise regularly 
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain or attain mental well-being

For many fibromyalgia patients, aerobic exercise is the cornerstone of our treatment approach. We will work with patients to find an activity that does not trigger pain.

Complementary or Alternative Medicine 

Non-traditional approaches can provide some relief for some individuals, and may become a helpful part of a person's care plan. We currently offer:

  • Acupressure
  • Osteopathic manipulation
  • Referral to UC San Diego Health's mindfulness training and stress reduction programs

Medications for Pain

Medications can help reduce pain in some patients. They may also help patients cope with the mental toll of chronic pain, including sleep problems. Depending on your situation, your treatment plan may include: 

  • Anti-depressants
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Sleep medications
  • Medical marijuana

Opioid use is discouraged or minimized in most but not all situations. 

Injections

We offer a range of fluoroscopy and image-guided injections to treat different kinds of pain, including:

  • Steroid injections
  • Epidurals for nerve root compression
  • Nerve blocks
  • Ultrasound-guided injections for musculoskeletal pain
  • Botulinum toxin injections 
  • Hyaluronic joint injections

Nerve Ablations / Denervation

For people with chronic pain who have not responded to other treatment, such as injections and physical therapy, nerve ablations may provide some lasting relief.  We offer:

Implantable Therapies

For people with severe pain, we offer implantable therapies to deliver pain medications or to stimulate nerves to reduce pain, including:

  • Intrathecal “pain” pumps, in which medications are delivered directly to the spinal cord
  • Spinal cord stimulation implants, which use electrical currents to control or relieve pain
  • Intrathecal baclofen (a muscle relaxer) for severe spasticity
  • Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation implants for lower limb pain

Candidates for these more invasive procedures are carefully screened.

Clinical Trials

Please contact our clinic or ask your pain doctor for information on our pain-related clinical trials or research studies.

Appointments & Referrals

To be seen at our center, you must get a referral from another physician. Self-referral is not allowed.

Clinic Location

La Jolla

Our Physicians

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