About Us

The University of Michigan Health System is home to one of the largest health care complexes in the world. As a part of this premier academic medical center, we are able to collect data from patients across Southeast Michigan, including University Hospital, Back & Pain Center, C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, Domino's Farms, East Ann Arbor Ambulatory Surgery and the Medical Procedures Center.The Division of Pain Research in the Department of Anesthesiology boasts a robust team of healthcare professionals committed to making innovative discoveries in the management of acute and chronic pain. Our research team includes investigators, statisticians, study coordinators, research assistants and research volunteers who work together to transform care.

 

The causes of chronic pain are many, including injury, surgery, illnesses, treatment side effects and degeneration. Our group is particularly interested in centralized pain states, such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel disease and migraine headaches.  Whereas these are classic centralized pain disorders, our group has shown that a portion of patients with other pain conditions, such as low back pain and knee arthritis, also have pain that is more centralized.  

Opioid Use

Opioids are the mainstay of acute pain, especially after surgery. Physicians and researchers are now recognizing that long-term opioid use is not beneficial and may actually worsen pain. Pain that is worsened due to long-term opioid use is called opioid-induced hyperalgesia. Our group is interested in understanding the impact of long-term opioid use in both the clinical setting and in the preoperative period. Moreover, we are interested in the factors that cause patients to continue opioid use despite the lack of efficacy.

Our Research

Our group studies centralized pain conditions in a number of settings, including interventions for spine pain and post-surgical pain. We are also studying opioid use in the pain clinic, as well as before and after surgery (acute and chronic post-operative outcomes.)