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 UW Center for Pain Relief also offers pain consultation and treatment for a variety of new onset, or "acute" problems that may benefit from selective anesthetic procedures, such as nerve blocks for "shingles" (Herpes zoster) or spinal nerve root compression ("pinched nerves from disc herniation").
Specialists from the UWMC Department of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Behavioral Medicine (psychiatry and clinical psychiatry), and Family Medicine work in direct collaboration with neurosurgical, orthopedic, neuro-imaging ("radiology"), general and surgical specialties, and general and specialty medicine experts at the UW 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 enables us to meet our mission: to "predict, diagnose, and prevent pain from becoming a disabling disease."
The types of problems we commonly diagnose and treat include complex and persistent pain from specific medical illnesses (such as arthritis and rheumatologic disorders, diabetes, cancer), surgery (spinal, orthopedic, neurosurgical, thoracic, abdominal, gynecological), and syndromes (such as chronic headaches, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, visceral and pelvic pain, RSD). By employing both traditional patient-centered history and review of how pain has affected our patients' lives, and use of highly sophisticated diagnostic procedures with state of the art 3-D image guided CT scanners and MRIs, we are able to reconnect the human being with the science and technology advances of modern medicine.
Many times long-term opioids ("narcotics") are used to treat persistent pain, and 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 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 first visits.
Specific diagnostic tests, such as selective nerve root blocks, may be needed to precisely define and occasionally to treat a variety of painful conditions. Our highly regarded and expertly skilled "interventionalists" will diagnose the need for and carefully explain the rationale and procedural approaches that may be recommended. When such treatments are advised, they are tailored to the specific painful condition as well as other relevant medical conditions. A highly trained and dedicated team of healthcare professionals work together to ensure all questions will be asked and answered, so that any necessary procedures will be as safe and effective as possible.
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 and arranged 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 measure the success of our treatments.
Since medical education is crucial to the development and the future of medical care, the UW Division of Pain Medicine often includes medical students, resident doctors, and post-doctoral fellows during the care of our patients. This enhances our care for our patients, since while teaching, we all learn.
UWMC Center for Pain Relief
4225 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98195-4692