Center for Pain Medicine

photo

Painful Disorders Program

Massachusetts General Hospital's Center for Pain Medicine delivers comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for individuals with painful disorders including diabetic neuropathy, peripheral nerve injuries, myofascial pain and other musculoskeletal disorders.

The Center for Pain Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital delivers comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for individuals with painful disorders, including:

    James Rathmell, MD, chief, Division of Pain Medicine (right), consults with a patient.

    James Rathmell, MD, chief, Division of Pain Medicine (left), consults with a patient.

  • Acute herpes zoster (shingles) resulting in nerve damage
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Headache disorders
  • Peripheral nerve injuries, including complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS, also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and Causalgia), which is chronic pain affecting the arm or the leg
  • Myofascial pain
  • Non-rheumatologic joint pain
  • Other musculoskeletal disorders

Our treatment programs involve a range of therapies that include:

  • Medication management
  • Injections such as epidural steroids, facet joint, sacroiliac joint and trigger point, which treat pain by delivering anti-inflammatory medicine to affected areas
  • Physical therapy
  • Advanced interventions such as radiofrequency ablation, which delivers heat to nerve tissues surrounding a joint to destroy this tissue and interrupt pain signals

While we offer cognitive-behavioral therapy and interventional treatment for selected headache disorders, the patient’s primary referral for headache evaluation and treatment should be directed to the Mass General Department of Neurology.

A Patient-centered Collaborative Approach

Your care team is made up of board-certified doctors who have received specialty training in pain medicine, fellows who are undergoing specialty training, psychologists and psychiatrists.

We will work with you, your referring physician and your care team to coordinate all aspects of your care, including medication management, physical therapy, behavioral management and work re-entry. We treat you at all levels of your condition.

We also help patients who rely on opioids to treat their conditions. It may be your goal to transition from opioid therapy to alternate forms of treatment. We provide resources within our center to assist you with that transition. Learn more about our Behavioral Medicine Services

Access to Expert Care

The care team at the Center for Pain Medicine comprises physicians who are leaders in the field of pain medicine. Our doctors conduct well-known, innovative research on methods to improve pain management, serve in leadership positions at relevant medical societies, speak at national and international conferences, publish frequently and teach courses on trends in pain medicine.

As an academic medical center, Mass General invests in research to understand diseases and develop new approaches in treatment. Our doctors are leaders within their respective fields, and collaborate with colleagues in various departments across the hospital. As a patient, you benefit from shared expertise, leading research, and our commitment to quality and excellence.

Mass General has consistently been named one of the top hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report. This ranking is based on our quality of care, patient safety and reputation in more than a dozen clinical specialties. Our commitment to excellence means that we work to ensure that you receive the best care at all points during your visit.

What to Expect

During your initial consultation, your care team will conduct a physical examination and review your medical history and treatment objectives. Please complete the new patient questionnaire (PDF) before your visit. We ask that you bring a list of medications, vitamins and herbal supplements that you take, along with information on dosages. Additionally, please bring any medical records, imaging records, consultation notes and notes on previous treatments and their effectiveness. We use this information at the time of your first visit to get a complete picture of you and your overall condition in order to develop an appropriate pain management plan.

Your treatment options, including risks and benefits, will be discussed in detail. We will work with you to develop the best plan for you.

Appointments and Referrals

In order to schedule an appointment, you must have a referral from your physician. Once your appointment is scheduled, please fill out the new patient questionnaire (PDF) and bring it and any other records with you to your first appointment.

For Referring Physicians

To refer your patients to our center, please complete a new patient referral form (PDF) and fax it to 617-726-3441. Our goal is to follow-up with you within 24 hours of a referral request and to contact your patient within 48 hours to schedule an appointment. Your patient will need to complete a new patient questionnaire (PDF) prior to his/her visit. This questionnaire will help in our initial evaluation and will help us develop an appropriate pain management plan.

Locations

We provide services in Boston and in Waltham. Visit our Waltham site

Diabetic Neuropathy (Nerve Problems)

Diabetic neuropathy, a nerve disorder, is a complication of diabetes that can lead to problems throughout the body.

Headache

A headache is pain or discomfort in the head or face area.

Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

Shingles, or herpes zoster, is a common viral infection of the nerves, which results in a painful rash of small blisters on an area of skin anywhere on the body.

The following related clinical trials and research studies are currently seeking participants at Massachusetts General Hospital. Search for clinical trials and studies in another area of interest.

Partners Biobank: Enabling personalized medicine

More than a dozen studies are now underway thanks to the participation of thousands of patients who have contributed to the Partners HealthCare Biobank.

Center for Pain Medicine

Wang Ambulatory Care Center
Suite 340
15 Parkman Street
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-8810
Fax: 617-726-3441

Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes

We are also located at:

Mass General West
Center for Pain Medicine
Specialty Suite, Third Floor
40 Second Avenue
Waltham, MA 02451
Phone: 617-726-8810
Fax: 617-726-3441

Next Steps: