The UW Center for Pain Relief is an out-patient multispecialty consultation and treatment clinic utilizing the assembled expertise and skills of physicians and other medical team providers to assist in the diagnosis and care for people with painful disorders that have persisted beyond expected duration for recovery from injury or surgery, or for those with painful medical conditions that have persistent uncontrolled pain despite appropriate treatment for their underlying disorder. The University of Washington first established an interdisciplinary approach to caring for pain patients in 1961, and continues in its newly renovated facility in the Roosevelt-1 clinic located nearby the main UW campus.
Specialists from the UWMC Departments of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Behavioral Medicine (Psychiatry and Psychology), and Family Medicine work in direct collaboration with neurosurgical, orthopedic, neuro-imaging , general and surgical specialties, and general and specialty medicine experts to provide our patients with state of the art and best practice Pain Medicine diagnosis and treatment. The UW Center for Pain Relief has received the prestigious American Pain Society "Center of Excellence" award in 2010. Our team of experts working closely with our patients and their providers enables us to meet our mission: to "predict, diagnose, and prevent pain from becoming a disabling disease."
UW Center for Pain Relief provides acute and chronic pain consultation and treatment. Disorders we commonly treat includes acute zoster neuritis, acute and chronic spinal pain, cancer pain, headache disorders of many kinds, visceral abdominal and pelvic pain, peripheral neuropathies, post-surgical pain syndromes, myofascial pain syndromes, and widespread pain disorders. We also diagnose and initiate treatment for pain associated with psychiatric and psychologic conditions.
Using newest technology for image-guided minimally invasive procedures when appropriate, our interventional experts pursue anatomical precision diagnosis of possible causes of pain. Selective neurolytic techniques, spinal cord and peripheral neuromodulation and spinal cord stimulators and intrathecal opioid pumps are sometimes necessary for selected refractory pain states. Complete pain treatment also includes medication management evaluation and trials, alternative medicine, rehabilitation counseling, focused psychological methods, and psychopharmacology evaluation. We offer approaches to prevention of pain through conservative management and/or interventional procedures that target long-term pain relief, including patient education and life-style changes.
Since many times long-term opioids are required to treat persistent pain, we work directly with our patients' treating providers to develop and implement the safest and most effective management approach. Sometimes this involves reducing or eliminating these drugs entirely, sometimes not. The Center for Pain Relief cannot provide long-term continuing opioid prescriptions beyond our consultative treatment interval (weeks to a few months), so our patients will need to have a long-term provider established and willing to continue this aspect of care. We do not provide opioid prescriptions at time of a patient's first visit. We are not an addiction treatment service, though we can help determine if opioids are causing an addiction disorder.
Since chronic pain is such a complex condition we require that all of our patients complete an electronic "on-line" computerized privacy assured medical and personal history before they are seen. Detailed instructions and support, as needed, is sent prior to our patients' first visit with us. This allows a more efficient and effective initial consultation. We have also implemented a computerized follow-up questionnaire to allow us to immediately gauge the success of our treatments.
We welcome your referrals and look forward to being helpful and accessible to you and for your patients.
To refer a patient, complete and fax the UW Medicine referral form to 206.598.4576.
Please include recent progress notes and imaging along with a clear description of your goals for the consultation.
For questions about the referral process: call 206.598.7246