Division of Anesthesia Pain Medicine

Our Division is dedicated to reducing pain and suffering, emphasizing the use of diagnostic and interventional, non-opioid therapies to help patients manage painful nerve and musculoskeletal pain conditions. We offer a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach, working closely with our surgical, oncologic and medical colleagues to provide our patients with detailed and personalized pain assessments and treatment plans. From spine injections to radiofrequency ablations or medication strategies, we provide carefully customized medical approaches to an individual’s pain management. Where warranted, we employ cutting-edge techniques such as spinal cord stimulation, regenerative medicine techniques and intrathecal drug delivery to provide patients with extensive opportunities for comfort.

Our team is involved in comprehensive pain management; the following are areas of particular interest or expertise:

James Modir, MD (Division Head)

  • Advanced interventional treatments including Radiofrequency Ablation for facet mediated pain (including knee and SI joint, i.e. Coolief)
  • Ultrasound-guided pain procedures including peripheral nerve blocks and platelet rich plasma
  • Spine injections including cervical and thoracic
  • Provocative and Anesthetic Discography
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation Trials and Implants

David Hiller, MD

  • Advanced interventional pain injection therapies, trials, implementations
  • Management and placement of spinal cord stimulators and narcotic intrathecal infusion pumps
  • Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation Trials and Implants for inguinal pain
  • Cutting-edge ultrasound-guided pain interventions.

April Bernal, NP
Leela Bourassa, PA

Featured Services

  • Spinal cord stimulation trials and implants

  • Fluoroscopic and ultrasound-guided musculoskeletal injections, nerve blocks and treatments

  • Radiofrequency ablation of lumbar, thoracic, cervical, sacroiliac, and knee joints

  • Complex diagnostic injections and discography to augment surgical planning

  • Treatment for cervicogenic headaches

  • Regenerative treatments for musculoskeletal disorders

Recognitions & Awards

  • Dr. Modir has been voted as “Top Doctor” in San Diego in the area of Pain Medicine with Specialization in Ultrasound-guided treatments

  • Dr. Modir is collaborating with the Orthopedic Department and Industry to develop a Degenerative Disk study using stem cell therapy

  • Dr. Modir lectures extensively for a host of national societies including the American Society of Anesthesiology, American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine and California Society of Interventional Pain Physicians

  • Dr. Hiller is working with Dr. Wallace at UCSD to study benefits of cannabis on pain

  • Our division handles the highest complexity procedures for the most challenging medical populations in order to assist our surgical and non-surgical colleagues with a host of diagnostic and therapeutic treatments options for patients.

The Division does not currently provide training opportunities, but is affiliated with the Pain Fellowship at UCSD.

For more information or to apply, please visit the Graduate Medical Education page.

  • We have participated in a study with Dr. Kim Janda from Scripps Research Institute evaluating immune mediated opioid tolerance and are looking to engage in future studies on cannabis for chronic pain.
  • Dr. Hiller is working with UCSD to study the impact of cannabis on chronic pain conditions and opioid utilization.
  • Dr. Modir is collaborating with the Orthopedic spine section to develop a study protocol for stem cell therapy for degenerative disk disease.
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