Pain Management Services

Pain can greatly affect your life. Whether caused by injury, disease, or surgery, our goal is to help you find relief. We can:

  • Reduce your pain
  • Increase your comfort
  • Improve how you function
  • Help you manage daily activities

UVA Health's team of pain specialists use the latest, most advanced treatments to give you back your quality of life, independence, and comfort. Our board-certified doctors care for thousands of patients each year. We're dedicated to helping you using the newest techniques and to researching and testing new ways of treating your pain.

    Services We Offer

    • Pain management after surgery
    • Pain management using medicines without opioids (multimodal and non-opioid pharmacotherapy)
    • Pain psychology
    • Hip, knee, foot, & ankle pain treatment
    • Injections and procedures for pain relief (interventional therapies)
    • Migraine and other headache treatment
    • Neck & back pain management
    • Pelvic pain management

    Treatment Options for Pain

    Pain Medications

    We'll create a custom treatment plan for your pain. It may include:

    • Combinations of medicines (multimodal treatment)
    • Physical therapy
    • Injections

    We'll also partner with your primary care physician on your treatment plan to get you the best pain care.

    Interventional Treatments and Targeted Therapies

    We may use procedures that include advanced technology, like:

    You'll likely need sedation or to be put to sleep (anesthesia) during these procedures. But, they offer an easy, comfortable recovery.

      Injections (Nerve Blocks)

      A nerve block is an anti-inflammatory injection targeted toward a certain nerve or group of nerves. It works by “turning off” a pain signal coming from a specific location in your body or to decrease inflammation in that area. The doctor may use image guidance to place the needle in the right location so that you can receive maximum benefit from the injection. Nerve blocks usually take only minutes to administer. The injection will be administered with a syringe, much like what's used for a routine vaccination. You can get pain relief with:

      • Epidural steroid injections for neck and back pain
      • Spinal injections (medial branch blocks)
      • Radiofrequency ablation
      • Knee injections and ablation
      • Pelvic injections
      • Sacroiliac joint injections
      • Peripheral nerve blocks
      • Blocks for complex regional pain
      • Injections for headache management
      • Stomach pain injections (celiac plexus blocks)


      If your pain doesn't get better with medicine, neuromodulation may help. It uses electricity or medicine to change how your nerves communicate with your brain. We offer:

      Pain and Mental Health

      Our skilled psychologists have special training in treating pain conditions using many techniques. You can learn to cope through self-regulation skills that include:

      • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
      • Breathing techniques
      • Meditation

      Clinical Trials

      If you qualify, you could join a clinical trial to test new ways of managing pain. 

      Your Pain Team

      When you get care for your pain at UVA Health, you'll have access to a specially trained, expert team that includes:

      • Pain management physicians
      • Nurses and nurse practitioners
      • Pain psychologists
      • Clinical associates
      • Radiologists and radiology technicians

      The Practice of Mindfulness

      Living with cancer, chronic disease, or comorbidity is not only taxing on the body but on the mind. Kim Penberthy, PhD, ABPP, speaks to her work in mindfulness-based therapies. View mindfulness transcript.

      Watch Video

      Pain After Surgery

      Our acute pain services can help you manage your concerns and pain from surgery. Before and after your surgery, we’ll:

      • Listen to your concerns and partner with you on a personalized care plan
      • Manage pain during your recovery
      • Check in with you daily to make sure your pain is under control
      • Help treat your pain after surgery, even if we didn’t perform the surgery

      Shorter, Less Painful Recovery With ERAS

      At UVA, we follow the Enhanced Recovery after Surgery guidelines (ERAS). This personalized recovery plan helps you recover with:

      • Less time in the hospital
      • Less opioid pain medications

      Through education, multiple medicines, and proper hydration, we get you back on your feet and out of the hospital faster.

      Types of Pain

      You have acute pain if it: 

      • Begins suddenly
      • Is caused by trauma, injury, or surgery
      • Doesn’t last more than 6 months
      • Disappears when the cause of the pain is treated

      You have chronic pain if it: 

      • Comes from a disease or condition that you live with
      • Occurs on a daily basis, over and over
      • Is difficult to diagnose
      • May take a long time to treat

      Types of chronic pain include back pain, headache, arthritis, and cancer pain.