Chronic Pain Treatment and Care at the Spine and Pain Institute

Long-term pain management and therapy for individuals experiencing chronic pain

Chronic pain is a complex and poorly understood medical problem that can profoundly affect your physical and mental well-being. Uncontrolled pain impacts all aspects of daily activities, such as mood, sleep, work, and relationships. 

However, there is hope at the Dean Stroud Spine and Pain Institute, a specialized clinic at Shepherd Center that focuses on restoring function, improving quality of life, and reducing dependence on medications while enhancing psychological well-being and independence.

What types of chronic pain conditions are treated by the Pain Institute?

  • Nerve or nervous system disorders that cause pain, such as stroke or multiple sclerosis.
  • Post-traumatic pain after a traumatic injury or illness.
  • Spinal pain felt in the back, neck, or tailbone.
  • Musculoskeletal pain that affects bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, or muscles.
  • Other pain-related conditions, such as migraine headaches.

Our Approach to Treating Chronic Pain

Because pain has a multi-faceted impact on individuals, the Pain Institute believes it takes a comprehensive treatment plan to manage pain effectively and successfully. Our practice model treats pain's physical and emotional components to ensure the best possible opportunity for long-term improvement.

Head and Neck
Back and Spine
Shoulder, Arm, & Hand
Hip, Leg, & Foot
Physical Therapy
Psychological Therapy

Appointments and Referrals to the Pain Institute

It can be overwhelming to deal with chronic pain, and we want to help you feel like you have control over your life. Whether you are a new patient, an existing patient, or a referring provider, our team will work with you to develop your personalized care plan.

Request An Appointment

A Team Approach to Your Care

Our approach to care is as unique as you are. We get to know you, and you get to know us – all of us. Starting with your care team: a specialized, interdisciplinary group of highly trained, certified, and experienced professionals who take the time to listen, diagnose, and design a tailored, evidence-based treatment plan just for you. And all of this happens in a safe, caring, and welcoming environment. We believe our patients can do amazing things, and this is what we’ll strive for with you.

Meet Your Care Team of Pain Specialists

Learn more about Shepherd Center's innovative approach to treating chronic pain at the Dean Stroud Spine and Pain Institute.

Patient Testimonial

The Pain Institute didn’t just make a huge difference in my life. It made a huge difference in my family’s life. And that means the world.

Sybil Williams
Dean Stroud Spine and Pain Institute 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • We believe in providing comprehensive, patient-centered support for people with chronic pain resulting from neurologic injuries or disease. Our practice model treats chronic pain's physical and emotional components to restore and maintain function and improve quality of life. We use the latest imaging technology to establish a precise diagnosis, treat pain at its source, and provide extensive rehabilitation plans to ensure the best possible opportunity for long-term improvement.

  • The Pain Institute at Shepherd Center is one of the country’s most renowned care and treatment centers for chronic pain.  

    As a patient at the Pain Institute, you have a specialized, interdisciplinary care team of highly trained, certified, and experienced pain specialists who collaborate to design a tailored, evidence-based treatment plan based on your symptoms and goals. 

    With specialists and care services housed in a single clinic, we can focus on what’s best for the patient while making it easy to communicate care quickly, make referrals, and adjust treatments as needed. 

    This comprehensive and holistic approach helps you find the root cause of your pain while restoring and improving your quality of life. 

  • When you’re a patient at Shepherd Center, you have an entire team of chronic pain specialists behind you. This team includes board-certified physicians, physiatrists, psychologists, neurologists, case managers, therapists, nurses, technicians, dieticians, and other professionals.

    Meet Your Care Team of Chronic Pain Specialists

  • Monday to Thursday 
    8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET

    8:30 a.m. - Noon ET 

  • The Pain Institute manages and treats the following types of chronic pain:

    • Nerve or nervous system disorders that cause pain, such as stroke or multiple sclerosis. 
    • Post-traumatic pain after a traumatic injury or illness. 
    • Spinal pain felt in the back, neck, or tailbone. 
    • Musculoskeletal pain that affects bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, or muscles. 
    • Other pain-related conditions, such as migraine headaches.

    Learn More About the Chronic Pain Conditions We Treat and Manage

  • Rather than relying on medications, the Pain Institute provides interventional pain management treatments, including techniques to block the pain at its source. In addition to traditional procedure-based treatments, such as steroid injections, our pain management approach also includes a wide range of modern, effective, and minimally invasive pain management therapies provided on an outpatient basis. Your dedicated care team of pain specialists will tailor your treatment approach based on your specific pain conditions and symptoms.

    Learn More About Our Interventional Approach to Treating Chronic Pain

  • When living with pain from an injury, trauma, or medical condition, altered movement patterns can influence orthopedic issues that increase pain from daily activities. Physical therapy is a safe, effective, and non-surgical option to help treat these chronic issues while helping to regain mobility, strength, and flexibility. Physical therapy also works with the nervous system to reduce pain and improve function and mobility.

    Learn More About Physical Therapy for Pain

  • Stress and chronic pain have a complex relationship. Stress usually accompanies a chronic painful condition and can also worsen chronic pain leading to increased pain and further health problems such as depression or anxiety. Addressing these psychological and emotional responses to pain can lead to long-term pain relief while also strengthening your body, mind, and spirit.

    Learn More About Psychological Therapy for Pain

  • Yes. As a patient in the Pain Institute, you also have exclusive access to the many specialized clinics and services offered throughout Shepherd Center. This access provides care across a spectrum of specialties under one roof, with the same personable and family-like atmosphere that makes us Shepherd Center.

  • Yes, we would love to see you, your friends and family. Learn more about how to request an appointment.

  • Yes. To be eligible for services at the Pain Institute, a provider referral form must be completed and submitted by a healthcare provider. To learn how to begin the referral process, please call our New Patient Coordinator at 404-603-4203.

  • The Pain Institute at Shepherd Center requires a referral for all new patients from a healthcare provider. This allows us to streamline care for those in need of our services. Learn more about how to request an appointment.

  • Yes, the Pain Institute uses a technology platform called ExamMed to facilitate telehealth sessions for certain types of visits.

  • To be eligible for services at the Pain Institute, your provider must complete our provider referral form. The completed form and pertinent medical records can be emailed to or faxed to 404-603-4418.

  • Your first appointment will include an initial evaluation to discuss your chronic pain with your specialist. Once your evaluation is complete, our team will work with you to develop a personalized care plan, which may include ongoing pain management, interventional pain procedures, physical therapy, psychology, and more.

  • We want to make the most of your visit here just as much as you do. Here are some tips on what to do before your first evaluation.

    • List questions and topics you'd like to discuss with your care team.  
    • List of injuries you’ve had.  
      Document the symptoms you are experiencing and for how long.  
    • Bring a partner, family member, or friend who can act as a second set of ears, take notes and prompt you if you forget anything.  
    • Ask for clarity on anything you don't understand. Medical terms can be daunting, and we want you to feel confident while you're here and after you leave.

    For your first evaluation appointment, please also bring with you the following:

    • Driver’s license 
    • Medical insurance card 
    • Any pertinent radiology imaging discs (if not already provided) 
  • Absolutely. It is very helpful if a caregiver or health advocate accompanies you to your appointment to help take notes, ask questions, and provide emotional support.

  • It is very important that you attend all scheduled appointments. Availability in the Pain Institute is limited and a missed appointment can impact timely medical refills.

    While we understand that emergencies and other unexpected situations do arise, the Pain Institute requests you provide us with a 24-hour notice in the event you are unable to make an appointment and need to reschedule.

  • Please arrive 30 minutes ahead of your appointment time. 

    If you arrive less than 15 minutes before your appointment time, we may need to reschedule your appointment. Your time with the provider is very important and arriving 15 minutes before your appointment time ensures that our nursing staff are able to prepare you for your visit and the providers are able to meet all your needs

  • The Pain Institute accepts most major health plans, including traditional insurance, managed care plans, Medicare, and Georgia Medicaid. We encourage you to confirm that your health plan covers specialist services before making an appointment.

    Learn About Insurance Plans We Accept

  • Please call our Financial Services Department at 404-350-7320 Monday through Friday to ask questions about your statement.

  • The Pain Institute is conveniently located on the main campus of Shepherd Center in Buckhead Atlanta, next to Piedmont Hospital. We are easily accessible from Interstates 75/85 and just 16 miles from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

    View More Info About Directions and Parking

  • If you are arriving for a new evaluation or any of our medical services, you will check in at the Spine and Pain Institute on the first floor of the main Shepherd Center building. Upon entering Shepherd Center via the visitor’s parking bridge, the Spine and Pain Institute is on the right, just as you enter the building.

    Download Our Campus Map

  • Yes. Free and convenient covered parking is available for all patients in the Shepherd parking deck behind Shepherd Center.

  • Yes. ADA parking is available on all garage levels, with van-accessible spaces on the ground level. Direct access to the hospital is accessible by an elevator on each level of the parking deck.

    Patients can also be picked up or dropped off adjacent to the Marcus-Woodruff Building Entrance. Transport chairs may be borrowed from our Security Desk if needed by visitors.

  • The Pain Institute and Shepherd Center have partnered with several nearby hotels to offer discount room rates for patients and/or family members. Rates may be subject to room availability. Each hotel offers various services, including wheelchair-accessible guest rooms for persons with disabilities. Be sure to ask for the Shepherd Center Rate when contacting these hotels.

    View Local Accommodations

Patient Stories and News about Chronic Pain from Shepherd Center's Newsroom

Sybil Williams claps in excitement as she plays a game of Jenga with her granddaughter

Patient Story: Sybil Williams

A back injury and numerous operations had immobilized Sybil to the point she was essentially homebound. The Pain Institute helped get her quality of life back.

Michael Bowbliss, a wrestling coach at Mountain View High School and patient at the Pain Institute, smiles next to a case of championship trophies

Patient Story: Michael Bowbliss

An injury caused Michael debilitating nerve pain from his fingers to his elbows. The Pain Institute helped Michael find a new lease on life.

Carolynn Goerke and her husband, James, smile while seated at a wedding reception

Patient Story: Carolynn Goerke

A Complex Regional Pain Syndrome diagnosis had led to debilitating chronic pain for half of Carolynn's life. The Pain Institute helped her hug her husband again.

Dean Stroud Spine and Pain Institute at Shepherd Center

Contact Us


Our Address

2020 Peachtree Road NW
Atlanta, GA 30309-1465

Clinic Hours

Monday to Thursday
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET

8:30 a.m. - Noon ET