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Treatments & Procedures

Pain Management | Treatments & Procedures

What We Treat: By Category

Back Pain

Patients who have chronic back pain due to problems such as herniated discs, arthritis or spinal stenosis are surprised to discover the many non-surgical options available to treat their pain.

A Pain Management specialist evaluates the patient, determines or confirms the source of pain and discusses treatment goals with the patient to determine the most appropriate treatment. For some patients, a prescription pain medication and physical therapy are enough to control the pain. But many patients also need to consider other options for pain management. Some of the latest treatments and technology that we offer for back pain include:


Pain Management and headache specialists work with the patient to determine the type of headache - tension, migraine, cluster or cervicogenic - and identify potential causes. This holistic approach to treating headaches may include prescription medication to abort or reduce the frequency and/or severity of headaches, psychotherapy and stress reduction.

When the type of headache is diagnosed correctly and the factors that contribute to it are identified, treatment can be highly effective in reducing the frequency and severity of headache and helping people return to their normal activities. Some of the treatments that we offer for headaches include:


This painful rash, caused by the herpes zoster (chickenpox) virus in adults, ranges from mild to severe. In some people, the pain continues long after the rash has disappeared, a condition known as postherpetic neuralgia. These patients require more intensive treatment to relieve pain and restore quality of life.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

This condition is characterized by severe, chronic pain usually following an injury such as a broken bone. The symptoms start as local pain in one part of a limb and spreads to another region adjacent to that area. The resulting pain is usually out of proportion to the original injury or illness. An accurate diagnosis is crucial to treatment and managing the pain of this disorder. Using the latest technology and other innovative procedures, Cleveland Clinic Pain Management specialists provide sophisticated diagnosis and the management of pain.

Pediatric Pain

According to The American Pain Society, 15 to 20 percent of children experience chronic pain. This includes children with chronic diseases such as cancer or cystic fibrosis who experience pain related to their disease or its treatment.

Treating pediatric pain is complex. The most effective programs target the underlying disorder causing the pain, relieve symptoms such as sleep disturbances, anxiety or depression and restore function so that children can return to normal activities.

Our pediatric pain management specialists understand the special needs of children with chronic pain and involve the entire family in treating these young patients.

Cancer Pain

Cancer experts estimate that 50 percent of cancer patients experience pain, and in people with advanced cancer the percentage is as high as 90 percent. Yet, cancer pain is often undertreated, mainly because patients and physicians are not aware of all the effective options available.

Cleveland Clinic Pain Management specialists work hand-in-hand with oncologists and palliative care specialists in the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute to diagnose and treat cancer-related pain. They also treat patients referred by other hospitals, cancer centers and community-based physicians.

Chronic Abdominal and Pelvic Pain

Chronic abdominal pain may arise from many contributing factors. Frequently the cause for the pain is known and treatments by a primary care, gastroenterology or surgical team may be directed toward treating the cause and, subsequently, the pain. Sometimes, despite an extensive work-up by these teams, the cause of the pain may not be clear, but the pain may be debilitating just the same. Patients with abdominal pain may then be referred to a pain management clinic for evaluation and treatment of their pain, whether from a known or unknown.

Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is defined as nonmenstrual pelvic pain of more than three months duration that is severe enough to cause functional disability and require medical or surgical treatment. Its hallmark is deep-seated, aching pain that often interferes with sleep and work, leads to urinary urgency and frequency and causes pain with sex and/or urination.

Although 70 to 80 percent of CPP cases are women, men can be affected too, especially if they have chronic prostatitis. In women, CPP is often linked to reproductive causes (e.g. endometriosis), urologic causes (particularly interstitial cystitis), gastrointestinal causes (e.g. irritable bowel syndrome) or psychosexual complaints, although many other causes can be at play, including vascular, neurologic and spinal issues. Notably, 30 to 50 percent of CPP cases are classified as having no obvious pathology, which often makes diagnosis and management difficult.

Did you miss our webchat on chronic abdominal pain?

Other Conditions

Other conditions treated in the Department of Pain Management include: