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Neurology

Chronic Pain Program

Overview

Improving your quality of life

Chronic pain refers to pain that does not go away with time. It can take many different forms and lead to a variety of problems, such as anxiety, depression, fatigue and disability.

At the Tufts Medical Center Chronic Pain Program in Boston, we help patients deal with the challenges of this pain through chronic pain treatment and management.

All of the neurologists in the Tufts MC Neurology Department see patients with chronic pain. Members of our team have earned "Top Doctors" honors from Boston Magazine and U.S. News & World Report, and share a commitment to compassionate care with a personal touch.

Diagnosing even the toughest cases

Our program excels in diagnosing even obscure causes of chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. As a result, we receive many patient referrals from doctors who were unable to make a definitive diagnosis.

At your first visit to the Chronic Pain Program, one of our neurologists will review your medical history and perform a thorough physical examination. If necessary, you may also undergo tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nerve conduction studies or electromyography.

Sometimes chronic pain is neurological in nature — i.e. related to compression of nerves or nerve roots. Examples include:

  • Herniated discs
  • Nerve inflammation
  • Traumatic nerve injuries
  • Painful neuropathies (disorders of the nervous system)
  • Various other neuralgias (types of intense pain)

In these cases, we will manage your treatment or provide guidance to your referring doctor. Depending on your condition, we may prescribe anticonvulsive medications for chronic pain management without the addiction risk that comes with narcotics.

Other chronic pain treatment options may include steroid injections and exercise. If surgery is necessary, as with many disc problems, we may refer you to Tufts MC colleagues in the departments of Neurosurgery or Orthopedics.

The Neurology Department also has a program that specializes in treating headache and face pain.

The right chronic pain treatment for you

If your chronic pain does not have a neurological cause, we may refer you to other areas of Tufts MC for treatment, such as:

  • Physical Medicine + Rehabilitation treats everyone from teenagers to older adults who are in pain or who are experiencing restricted mobility, communications deficits or other impairments caused by a physical condition. Our doctors of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, also known as physiatrists, treat you with alternatives to traditional, “open” surgery, sparing you the potential risks and pain that can accompany these surgical procedures.
  • The Cancer Clinic manages chronic pain related to cancer.
  • The Craniofacial Pain Center at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine manages temporomandibular disorders and chronic head, neck and facial pain.

With expertise in diagnosis and identifying treatment options, the Chronic Pain Program can help you fight back against chronic pain and enjoy life once again.

Doctors + Care Team

Tinatin Chabrashvili, MD, PhD

Tinatin Chabrashvili, MD, PhD

Title(s): Director, Dementia Clinic; Neurologist; Associate Professor of Neurology, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8015
Fax #: 617-636-8199

Vascular neurology, movement disorders, cognitive neurology, traumatic brain injury, neurorehabilitation

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Bryan K. Ho, MD

Bryan K. Ho, MD

Title(s): Director, Movement Disorders Program; Director, Medical Student Education; Neurologist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-4948
Fax #: 617-636-8199

Movement disorders

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Kimberly A. Parkerson, MD, PhD

Kimberly A. Parkerson, MD, PhD

Title(s): Director, Tufts Comprehensive Epilepsy Center; Director, Neurology Residency Training Program; Assistant Professor of Neurology, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-4948
Fax #: 617-636-8199

Epilepsy, seizures

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Thomas D. Sabin, MD

Thomas D. Sabin, MD

Title(s): Vice Chairman; Director, Residency Training Program; Neurologist; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-4948
Fax #: 617-636-8199

General neurology

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David E. Thaler, MD, PhD, FAHA

David E. Thaler, MD, PhD, FAHA

Title(s): Neurologist-in-Chief, Tufts Medical Center; Chairman, Department of Neurology, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-4948
Fax #: 617-636-8199

Stroke

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Mithila Vullaganti, MD

Mithila Vullaganti, MD

Title(s): Neurologist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5848
Fax #: 617-636-8199

Neuromuscular diseases, EMG

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David Thaler, MD on tuftsmedcalcenter.tv video.

Stroke 101: Learn more, worry less

David Thaler, MD discusses strokes, their causes, symptoms and what to do if you think you’re having one.

Watch Video

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617-636-5848