Ariana M. Nelson, MD


Pain Medicine, Anesthesiology

Clinical Interests

complex regional pain syndrome, chronic back pain, knee and hip pain, neuropathic pain, vertebral fractures

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  • American Board of Anesthesiology, Anesthesiology - General
  • American Board of Anesthesiology, Pain Medicine [Anesthesiology]
  • 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 — Spine Intervention Society
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, joint, neck and nerve pain. She also is skilled in peripheral nerve and spinal cord stimulation.

She earned a medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, Mich., followed by an internship at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, also in Ann Arbor. She completed both 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 needed for space exploration. She also studies the objective measurement of pain, opioid-related side effects, substance-use disorder and how cannabis can be used to alleviate pain. A member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Spine Intervention Society, she has contributed to several book chapters on regional anesthesia 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 that 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 also speaks Spanish, strives to improve her patients' quality of life through the use of non-opioid medications and state-of-the art pain management therapies.

She sees patients in Orange, Irvine and Tustin.

UCI Health Center for Pain and Wellness
Gottschalk Medical Plaza
1 Medical Plaza Drive
Irvine, CA 92697
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 — Tustin
1451 Irvine Blvd.
Tustin, CA 92780
Phone: 714-838-8408
Fax: 714-838-8988