Dr Nelson grew up in the Puget Sound area and was an honors and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Washington. He went to medical school at the University of Southern California and completed his internship and residency in anesthesiology at USC-L.A. County Hospital Medical Center where he was elected chief resident. He stayed on after residency for training as a Pain Medicine Fellow and started the Pain Management program at Desert Hospital in Palm Springs, California.After returning to the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Nelson joined the Evergreen Hospital medical staff and started the Pain Medicine department there as well as establishing one of the first full spectrum independent pain medicine clinics in the area. He is a founding member and Director-at-Large of the Washington Society of Interventional Pain Physicians. On multiple occasions, he has been invited to be a guest lecturer at the University of Washington pain medicine fellowship program and has been actively involved in the teaching of pain fellows, medical students and physician assistants. He has also served as a consultant and speaker to a variety of organizations. In his off time, Dr. Nelson enjoys hiking, biking, golfing, skiing and mountain climbing. He is active in Climb for Captives and Rescue Freedom International, an organization working on behalf of victims of human trafficking. Philosophy: More than 90 million people in the U.S. are affected by chronic, persistent, or recurring pain. We are also in the midst of what has been described as the "opioid prescribing national crisis", yet it can be challenging for many patients to find any meaningful pain relief. We employ a rational evidence-based approach to chronic pain using a comprehensive interventional approach which starts with a consultation and ordering medically necessary testing, referrals to specialists, and coordinating physical and manual therapy as well as psychological testing or counseling, if needed. If appropriate, we will initiate an interventional plan that will employ image guided nerve blocks or injections for diagnostic and/or therapeutic purposes. In some cases we may recommend procedures and technologies such as radiofrequency ablation of pain generators or an implantable device, but only after noninvasive options have been exhausted. Other issues may need to be addressed including weight loss or gain, depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. We are committed to a compassionate approach towards alleviating pain, restoring health and improving the quality of life for our patients. Medical Focus: Chronic neck and low back pain, joint pain, chronic post-surgical pain, occipital and cervicogenic headache, cancer pain, refractory arthritis pain. Complex regional pain syndrome (aka Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) Failed back surgery syndrome/post-laminectomy syndrome. Shingles pain and post herpetic neuralgia. Chronic abdominal and pelvic pain. Specializations: Diagnostic and therapeutic injections under fluoroscopy and ultrasound of the spine and the musculoskeletal system. Radiofrequency ablation procedures. Patient screening, trialing, and implantation of implantable pain medical devices including spinal cord stimulators and implantable spinal pain pumps. Coordination of multidisciplinary pain management care including referral to consultants and physical/manual therapy as well ordering appropriate tests and imaging including MRI, CT and x-rays. Interventional approaches to chronic headache, abdominal/pelvic pain, arthritis, and cancer pain. Vertebroplasty/kyphoplasty treatment of non-operative spinal compression fractures. Stem cell/PRP injections of inoperable knee, hip and shoulder pain.
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Learn about Dr. Nelson
We are committed to alleviating pain, restoring health and improving quality of life. Our goal is to help our patients live healthier lives while gaining control over their pain. We feel patients should not suffer needlessly from pain and believe they can improve through a variety of modalities we offer. We draw from a broad base of proven treatments, advanced medical knowledge and technical expertise to thoroughly diagnose and treat pain patients who have failed to respond to routine medical care. We focus on the patient as an individual and treat each patient with respect and compassion.
Dr. Nelson's experience matches your search based on the following criteria:
Based on total number of patients treated over the last 12 months
Specializes in Pain Medicine Anesthesiology
Board certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
No sanctions found
No board actions found
Pain Medicine Anesthesiology
Accredited by: American Board of Anesthesiology*
Accredited by: American Board of Anesthesiology*
Why It Matters: Dr. Nelson's Board Certifications
Board certification should be one of your top considerations when choosing a doctor. Board certification is an official recognition given to doctors who have met specific requirements set by national medical specialty boards in the United States.
Board certification indicates that a doctor is highly qualified in the medical field in which he or she practices. A board-certified doctor is more likely than a non-board-certified doctor to have the most current skills and knowledge about how to treat your medical condition.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
Facet Joint Pain
Lumbar Disc Degeneration
Sciatica (Not Due to Disc Displacement)
Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection
Cervical Facet Joint Injection
Cervical Medial Branch Block
Chronic Pain Management
Epidural Steroid Injections
Facet Joint Injection
Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection
Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation
Sacroiliac Joint Injection
Spinal Cord Stimulation
Trigger Point Injection
Malpractice Claims not available
Healthgrades does not collect malpractice information for Washington.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is issued when negligence by a doctor causes injury to a patient. For example, a doctor may improperly diagnose, treat or medicate outside the standard of medical care. The three types of malpractice are: a settlement, an arbitration award, or a judgment.
If my doctor has malpractice history, does that mean he or she is a poor-quality doctor?
If your doctor has a malpractice claim, evaluate the information and determine if the action could potentially impact the quality of care you receive. Claim settlements and arbitration awards may occur for a variety of reasons, which should not necessarily reflect negatively on the doctor's professional competence or conduct. You may want to use this information to start a discussion with the doctor about his or her history and specific ability to provide healthcare for you.
How far back does Healthgrades malpractice history go?
Healthgrades reports details of a doctor’s malpractice history when the doctor has at least one closed medical malpractice claim within the last five years, even if he or she no longer practices in that state.
For which states does Healthgrades collect malpractice history?
Healthgrades collects malpractice information from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. If your doctor has a malpractice claim, evaluate the information and determine if the action could potentially impact your quality of care. Sometimes multiple states report the same claim. If a provider practices in a state where data is unavailable, please reach out to your local state legislature to help make this data publicly available.
No sanctions history found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.
What is a sanction or disciplinary action?
A sanction, also known as a disciplinary action, is an action taken to punish or restrict a doctor who has demonstrated professional misconduct. Sanctions may be imposed by a state medical board, professional medical licensing organization, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
If my doctor has sanction history, does that mean he or she is a poor-quality doctor?
If a doctor has a sanction, it does not necessarily mean that he or she is a poor-quality doctor. Some sanctions are not related to medical care, and involve a doctor’s finances or administrative activities. Before you make any choices about changing your doctor, we recommend that you evaluate the doctor’s sanction information and determine how severe or relevant you think the sanction cause and action were.
How far back does Healthgrades sanction history go?
Healthgrades reports state and federal sanctions from the previous five years, except when a doctor's license has been revoked or surrendered. Healthgrades displays all actions for doctors whose licenses have been revoked or surrendered.
For which states does Healthgrades collect sanction history?
Healthgrades collects sanction history from all 50 U.S. states. Physicians with a disciplinary action in one state may move to another state where they have a clean record. Since Healthgrades painstakingly compiles disciplinary action information from all 50 states, Healthgrades website will show if a physician has a disciplinary action in more than one state.
0 Board Actions
No board actions found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.
What are board actions?
Board actions are non-disciplinary actions imposed upon a doctor based on a complaint investigation. A patient or medical colleague may file a complaint with that state medical board or professional licensing organization, which then investigates the complaint. Board actions are intended to ensure that a doctor is able to perform safe medical and health care tasks.
Types of non-disciplinary actions include an advisory letter, a corrective action agreement, a limitation or restriction on the medical or healthcare tasks a doctor can perform, or a voluntary agreement by the doctor not to practice. A board action can also include a termination of a corrective action agreement or voluntary agreement, which allows the doctor to return to full practice.
If my doctor has a board action, does that mean he or she is a poor-quality doctor?
If a doctor has a board action, it means he or she has had a non-disciplinary action imposed upon him or her. It does not necessarily mean that he or she is a poor quality doctor. Before you make any choices about changing your doctor, evaluate the doctor's board action information and determine how severe or relevant you think the cause and action were.
How far back does Healthgrades non-disciplinary board action history go?
Healthgrades reports non-disciplinary board action history from for the previous five years, except when a doctor's license has been revoked or surrendered. Healthgrades displays all actions for doctors whose licenses have been revoked or surrendered.
For which states does Healthgrades collect non-disciplinary board actions?
Healthgrades collects non-disciplinary board actions from all 50 U.S. states.
University of Washington
Undergraduate School | Graduated 1979
University of Southern California / Keck School of Medicine
Medical School | Graduated 1985
Usc/Lac Med Ctr
Internship Hospital | Completed 1986
Usc/Lac Med Ctr
Residency Hospital | Completed 1989
Usc/Lac Med Ctr
Fellowship Hospital | Completed 1989
Awards & Recognition
Awards & Honors
Healthgrades Honor Roll
Media & Publications
Dr. Nelson has no media or publications listed.
Awards & Recognition
What is a recognized doctor?
Healthgrades Recognized Doctor designation identifies leading doctors who:
Are board certified.
Have not had their license surrendered or revoked since Healthgrades started collecting data in 2000.
Have no malpractice judgments, adverse arbitration awards, or monetary settlements for the last five years in the states in which Healthgrades can collect malpractice data.
Are free of state or federal disciplinary actions (sanctions) for the last five years.
Healthgrades updates the Recognized Doctor list quarterly based on board certification data. Healthgrades also receives sanction and malpractice data throughout the year, depending on how frequently the state medical boards release updates.
We remove a newly sanctioned doctor from the Recognized Doctor list as soon as we receive the information. However, it is important to note that malpractice information is publically available in only 14 states.
Memberships & Professional Affiliations
Dr. Nelson does not have any memberships or affiliations listed. If you are Dr. Nelson and would like to add memberships or affiliations, please update your profile.