UCI Health will see you now: Welcome to our new co-workers and patients from Fountain Valley, Lakewood, Los Alamitos and Placentia-Linda! 


Ariana M. Nelson, MD


Pain Medicine, Anesthesiology

Clinical Interests

chronic back pain, neck pain, knee and hip pain, vertebral fractures, steroid injection therapy, radiofrequency ablation therapy, spinal cord stimulation

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  • American Board of Anesthesiology, Anesthesiology
  • American Board of Anesthesiology, Pain Medicine
  • English
  • Spanish
Medical School
University of Michigan Medical School
Saint Joseph Mercy HospitalTransitional
Northwestern Memorial HospitalAnesthesiology
Northwestern Memorial HospitalMultidisciplinary Pain Management
Professional Positions
  • Associate Professor — Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care, UCI School of Medicine
  • Dean's Scholar — UCI School of Medicine
  • Member — American Society of Anesthesiologists
  • Member — American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine
  • Associate Editor — Anesthesia & Analgesia
  • Assistant Editor — Pain Medicine
Awards and Recognition
  • Physicians of Excellence, Orange County Medical Association — 2021-2023
More Information

Dr. Ariana M. Nelson is a board-certified anesthesiologist who specializes in interventional pain management, as well as in acute and chronic pain.

Her clinical interests include back, neck, joint, neck and neuropathic pain. She also is skilled in radiofrequency ablation, peripheral nerve stimulation and spinal cord stimulation.

She earned a medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. She completed a residency in anesthesiology and a fellowship in multidisciplinary pain management at the Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Nelson's research interests include aerospace medicine and exploring the medical capabilities and resources needed for space exploration. She is working with NASA on the upcoming Artemis expeditions for lunar orbital and surface missions. She also studies objective measurements of pain, opioid-related side effects, substance-use disorder and how cannabis may be used to alleviate pain. She has contributed to many book chapters on pain medicine and serves on the editorial boards of the journals Anesthesia & Analgesia and Pain Medicine.

In fall 2021, she was named one of 12 Dean's Scholars, a select group of UCI School of Medicine faculty members charged with implementing initiatives to advance the training and assessment of medical students' clinical skills and develop the next generation of medical education scholars and national leaders. She is also a core faculty member for the Program in Medical Education for the Latino Community (PRIME-LC), a five-year, combined MD and master’s training program for physicians committed to serving under-resourced Latino communities.

Nelson, who speaks fluent Spanish, strives to improve her patients' quality of life with state-of-the art pain management therapies and the use of non-opioid medications.

She sees patients at UCI Medical Center, UCI Health — IrvineGottschalk Medical Plaza and UCI Health — Tustin.

UCI Health Center for Pain and Wellness
Joe C. Wen & Family Center for Advanced Care
19200 Jamboree Road
Irvine, CA 92612
Phone: 949-824-7246
Fax: 949-824-8417
UCI Health Anesthesia Services
101 The City Drive South, Building 1
Orange, CA 92868
Phone: 714-456-7890
Fax: 855-209-8413
UCI Health — Irvine
19200 Jamboree Road
Irvine, CA 92612
Phone: 714-456-7002
UCI Health — Tustin
1451 Irvine Blvd.
Tustin, CA 92780
Phone: 714-838-8408
Fax: 714-838-8988