Jonathan D. Carlson, MD is the founding clinician at Hawai'i Pain & Spine on the Windward side of Oʻahu in Kailua, Hawai'i. He is an interventional pain specialist who is ABMS double board-certified in pain management and anesthesiology. He firmly believes his pain clinic should be a place “Where the aloha spirit meets innovation and patient care”. He hopes to treat every patient as if they were ohana with the goal of Hawai'i Pain & Spine being a center of excellence for medical treatment, education, and clinical research for his chronic pain patients.
Dr. Carlson is of Filipino (Ilocano) and Swedish descent and his family has been on Kauai and Oahu since the 1940’s. He grew up in California and Aiea, Hawaiʻi and graduated from Lanakila Baptist High School in ʻEwa Beach, Oʻahu. His favorite past times are surfing, playing guitar, doing church/mission work, and spending time with his ohana. Dr. Carlson has had many mentors who have guided him, and he believes in the importance of paying it forward, giving back, and living out the aloha spirit. Because of this, he enjoys volunteering on a regular basis as he feels that helping those less fortunate and underserved is an important aspect of his life. Over the years, he has participated in several local and foreign medical/humanitarian mission trips to Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa.
Dr. Carlson received his medical degree in 2004 from the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City and undertook his residency in anesthesiology at the University of California-Davis in Davis, California. He then completed an ACGME accredited interventional pain management fellowship at Texas Tech University in 2009, where he was fortunate enough to train under Dr. Gabor Racz, one of the fathers of pain medicine.
Dr. Carlson treats a wide variety of chronic pain disorders at Hawai'i Pain & Spine. He has a strong focus in not just treating pain but restoring function and quality of life. He believes whenever possible a multi-modal, comprehensive treatment approach to chronic pain is paramount. This often includes physical, behavioral, and chiropractic therapy, medications (non-opioid preferred), and advanced pain interventions.
He does interventional pain treatments such as image-guided (fluoroscopy and ultrasound) spine, nerve, and joint injections, neuraxial spine and nerve radiofrequency ablation, dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation, peripheral nerve and spinal cord stimulation, vertebral augmentation (vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty), regenerative medicine such as PRP and stem cell injections, and minimally-invasive spine procedures.
Dr. Carlson treats a comprehensive range of chronic pain conditions of the head, neck, spine, trunk (chest wall), abdomen, pelvis, and extremities, including sciatica, disc degeneration (bulges and herniations), chronic joint pain (shoulder, hip, and knee), migraines and headaches, peripheral neuropathy, neuralgias and neuritis, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), refractory neuropathic pain, and various other chronic pain conditions.
Dr. Carlson enjoys educating about pain management as well as seeing his patients at Hawai'i Pain & Spine. He was a clinical associate professor at Midwestern College of Medicine and is a nationally published author in several peer-reviewed pain journals and medical textbooks. He gives lectures locally, nationally, and internationally on advanced pain procedures and pain management best practices. He has worked at the state department of health and government level with fighting the opioid crisis and advocating for pain patients. He’s also a principal investigator with several ongoing research studies in pain.
Dr. Carlson was recently appointed treasurer and national executive board member for the American Society of Pain and Neurosciences (ASPN).