Steven Richeimer, MD's portrait
Steven Richeimer, MD
Chief, Division of Pain Medicine
Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA
Dr. Richeimer is a member of the SpineUniverse Editorial Board.

About Steven Richeimer, MD

Dr. Steven Richeimer holds the academic position of Professor of Anesthesiology and Psychiatry at the University of Southern California at Davis. Dr. Richeimer is the Chief, Division of Pain Medicine, Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, and Director, Norris Cancer Hospital Pain Management. He is Board Certified in the fields of anesthesiology and psychiatry, and in the sub-specialty of pain management.

From the University of California San Francisco, School of Medicine, Dr. Richeimer earned a Medical Degree. After finishing medical residencies at UCLA in psychiatry and anesthesiology, Dr. Richeimer completed his pain management training at Harvard's Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. Dr. Richeimer then went on to become the Director of Pain Management at the UC Davis Medical Center where he established a national reputation for his comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach.

Dr. Richeimer is a member of the American Pain Society, American Society of Regional Anesthesia, American Society of Anesthesiologists, International Association for the Study of Pain, and the American Medical Association.

Dr. Richeimer has published two books and over twenty-five articles for peer-reviewed journals. This doctor is dedicated to using the full scope of medical science to provide personalized, effective care.

Steven H. Richeimer, MD is the author of A Pain Doctor’s Guide to Relief, Confronting Chronic Pain. Click here for more information about the book. For orders placed with the publisher, use code HNAF for 30% discount.




The Handbook of Psychiatry. Editors: Guze B, Richeimer S, Siegel D. Mosby, Chicago, 1990.

The Psychiatric Drug Handbook, Guze B, Ferng H, Szuba M, Richeimer S. Mosby, St. Louis, 1992.

Save Your Aching Back and Neck, A Patient’s Guide, Eidelson S, Fessler R, Garfin S, Richeimer S, Rodts G, Spinasanta S. SYA Press and Research Inc., 2nd Edition, San Diego, 2002.

Richeimer SH, Lennard TA. Video Editors for Pain Procedures in Clinical Practice (3rd edition), Editors: Lennard

TA, Walkowski S, Singla AK, Vivian DG. Elsevier Saunders, 2011.

Richeimer SH with Steligo K: Confronting Chronic Pain, A Pain Doctor’s Guide to Relief. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2014.

Articles, Abstracts, Chapters

1. Altshuler LL, Plaeger-Marshall S, Richeimer S, Daniels M, Baxter LR: Lymphocyte Function in Major Depression. ACTA Scandinavia 80:132-136, 1989.

2. Ananth K, Richeimer SH, Durham MJ: Managing chronic pain: Consider psychotropics and other non-opioids. Current Psychiatry. 11(2), 2012.

3. Antigua-Martinez MTP, Wootton RJ, Richeimer SH, Ransil B, Warfield CA, Bajwa ZH: Effect of Somatization on Global Pain Impairment. Poster session, APS Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, November 1995.

4. Antigua-Martinez MTP, Richeimer SH, Wootton RJ, Warfield CA, Bajwa ZH: Effect of Somatization on Global Pain Impairment. Submitted, The Clinical Journal of Pain, 1996.

5. Araujo M, More-O’Ferrall D, Richeimer SH: Complications of Interventional Pain Management Procedures. Advances in Anesthesia. 26:1-30, 2008.

6. Arpawong, T, Richeimer SH, Weinstein F, Elghamrawy A, Milam JE: Posttraumatic growth, quality of life, and treatment symptoms among cancer chemotherapy outpatients. Health Psychology. 32(4):397-408, 2013.

7. Bajwa ZH, Fishman SM, Richeimer SH, Rozan JP, Warfield CA: Intravenous Phenytoin May Predict the Analgesic Efficacy of Phenytoin for Intractable Neuropathic Pain. Poster session, 8th World Congress on Pain, Vancouver, BC, August, 1996.

8. Baxter LR Jr., Liston EH, Schwartz JM, Altshuler L, Guze BH, Richeimer SH, Wilkins J, Freedman DX. Lithium prolongs the antidepressant response to partial sleep deprivation. Poster session, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Annual Meeting. Maui, HA, December 1985.

9. Baxter LR, Liston EH, Schwartz JM, Altshuler LL, Wilkins JN, Richeimer SH, Guze BH: Prolongation of the antidepressant response to partial sleep deprivation by lithium. Psychiat Research. 19:17-23, 1986.

10. Baxter LR, Liston EH, Schwartz JM, Altshuler LL, Wilkins JN, Richeimer SH, Guze BH: Lithium extends sleep deprivation effect in depression. pp. 70, APA 1986 Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, May 1986.

11. Bokarius V, Richeimer S, Victor L: Novel Approaches in Treatment of Chronic Pain. Am Acad of Pain Medicine, Annual Meeting Poster Abstract #132, San Diego, 2006.

12. Bokarius V, Richeimer S, Nemat A, Victor L, Matharu Y, Wolf MK: Multidisciplinary Treatment of Chronic Pain. American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, Issue Workshop #50, Toronto, 2006.

13. Bokarius V, Richeimer SH, Victor L, Nemat A, Matharu Y, Wolfe MK: Multidisciplinary Treatment of Chronic Pain. Directions in Psychiatry. 28:17-31, March 2008.

14. Carroll C, Richeimer S, Sahai-Srivastava S: Headaches and Neurological Symptoms as a side effect of Spinal Cord Stimulator Placement (Abstract). Headache. 52(5):913, 2012.

15. Chang C, Strand N, Richeimer SH: An Overview of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and its Management. Practical Pain Management. 12:61-67, December 2012.

16. Chase MH, Monoson R, Watanabe KA, and Richeimer SH: Reflex Responses to high frequency Reticular Stimulation are State Dependent. Sleep Research. 3:20, 1974.

17. Chase M, Richeimer S, Babb M. Sleep in the Aged Cat. Neuroscience Abstracts. 5:1142, 1975.

18. Chase M, Babb, Stone M, Richeimer S: Active Sleep Patterns in the Old Cat. Sleep Res. 5:20, 1976.

19. Clark GT, Richeimer SH: Opioids for Chronic Orofacial Pain with a focus on non-malignant chronic pain; in Clark GT, Dionne RA (eds): Orofacial Pain—A Guide to Medications and Management, Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.

20. Clark GT, Gutierrez MA, Venturin JS, Richeimer SH: Psychopharmacologic agents used in chronic pain; in Clark GT, Dionne RA (eds): Orofacial Pain—A Guide to Medications and Management, Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.

21. Compoginis J, Richeimer SH, Brody GS: Placement of An Implantable Drug Delivery System Under The Breast. Pain Medicine. 8:521-524, 2007.

22. Durham M, Mirzaian E, Goad J, Richeimer S. The Contribution of a Clinical Pharmacist in a Chronic Pain Management Clinic: A Practice Description, IASP 13th World Congress on Pain (Poster #PT460), Montreal, Canada 2010.

23. Erb JL, Gwirtsman HE, Fuster JM, Richeimer SH: Bulimia associated with frontal lobe lesions. International Journal of Eating Disorders. 8(1):117–121, 1989.

24. Fishman SM, Fishbain D, Kulich R, Rich BA, Richeimer S, Shomaker TS: Editorial: Forensic Pain Medicine. Pain Medicine. 3(4):352, 2002.

25. Fung DA, Richeimer S, Carroll B, Davis TT: Lumbar Subcutaneous Peripheral Field Stimulation in Eleven Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain and/or Post Laminectomy Syndrome. PM&R. 5(9):S286, September 2013.

26. Gundamaraj N, Richeimer S: Chest Wall Pain; in Ballantyne JC, Rathmell JP, Fishman SM (eds): Bonica Textbook of Pain, 4th edition, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010.

27. Guze BH, Liston LH, Baster LR, Richeimer SH, Gold ME: Interrater reliability of MECTA EEG, Recordings of ECT seizure duration. J Clinical Psychiatry. 50:140-142, 1989.

28. Guze BH, Siegel DJ, Richeimer SH, Jackson M: Affective Disorders; in, The Handbook of Psychiatry, Editors: Guze B, Richeimer S, Siegel D. Yearbook Medical Publisher, Chicago, 1990, pp 93-104.

29. Leong MS, Richeimer SH: Conscious Sedation for Interventional Pain Procedures; in, Pain Procedures in Clinical Practice (3rd edition), Editors: Lennard TA, Walkowski S, Singla AK, Vivian DG. Elsevier Saunders, 2011, pp 23-30.

30. Levine R, Richeimer SH: Spinal Methylene Blue is Hazardous [letter]. Pain. 152(4):952-3, 2011.

31. Liston EH, Guze BH, Baxter LR, Richeimer SH, Gold MC: Motor vs EEG Seizure duration in ECT. Biological Psychiatry. 24(1):94-96, 1989.

32. Macres SM, Richeimer SH: Successful treatment of erythromelalgia with intrathecal hydromorphone and clonidine. Clinical Journal of Pain. 16(4):310-3, 2000.

33. Macres SM, Richeimer SH, Duran PD: Adjuvant Analgesics; in, Warfield CA, Bajwa ZH (Eds): Principles and Practice of Pain Management, 2nd edition. McGraw Hill, 2004.

34. Macres SM, Richeimer SH: Understanding Neuropathic Pain: Pathophysiology and Treatment Modalities. Current Reviews in Clinical Anesthesia. 19(2)14-20,1998.

35. Macres SM, Richeimer SH, Duran PJ: The Pathophysiology and Treatment of Neuropathic Pain. Am Society of Anesthesiology Annual Review. Vol 27, Chapter 10, 1999.

36. Macres SM, Richeimer SH: Review of Acute Postoperative Pain Management. Current Reviews in Clinical Anesthesia. 19(14)147-156,1999.

37. Nematbakhsh AM, Richeimer SH: Pharmacologic Therapies for Neck Pain. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America. 14(3) 629-641, August 2003.

38. Richeimer SH: Response to the Editorial Response Letter by Dr. Caraway et al. re Are We Lemmings Going Off a Cliff? Pain Medicine. 11:1305, 2010.

39. Richeimer SH: Are We Lemmings Going Off a Cliff? The Case Against the “Interventional” Pain Medicine Label. Pain Medicine. 11:3-5, 2010.

40. Richeimer SH: Introduction: Palliative Care Section. Pain Medicine. 7(4): 319, 2006.

41. Richeimer SH: Pain Management Techniques to Help Conquer Neck and Back Pain. In, Eidelson SG, Spinasanta SA (Eds): Advanced Technologies to Treat Neck and Back Pain—A Patient’s Guide. SYA Press and Research, March 2005.

42. Richeimer SH: Drugs Used to Treat Pain: Opioids-Narcotics. In, Eidelson SG, Spinasanta SA (Eds): Advanced Technologies to Treat Neck and Back Pain—A Patient’s Guide. SYA Press and Research, March 2005.

43. Richeimer SH, Victor L: Trustworthiness as a Clinical Variable—Response to Commentaries. Pain Medicine. 6(5):396, 2005.

44. Richeimer SH: Opioids for Pain: Risk Management. Seminars in Anesthesia. 24(3):165-169, 2005.

45. Richeimer SH: Opioids for Pain—Risk Management. CSA Bulletin, 54(2), Apr-Jun 2005, & Calif Soc Anesth Online CME:

46. Richeimer SH: Pain Problems in the Emergency Room. Lifeline (Newsletter of Calif American College of Emergency Physicians), September 2000.

47. Richeimer SH, Case GA: Ethical Issues And Problems Of Trust In The Management Of Chronic Pain; in, Warfield CA, Bajwa ZH (Eds): Principles and Practice of Pain Management, 2nd edition. McGraw Hill, 2004.

48. Richeimer SH: The Nuts and Bolts of Nerve Blocks. Workers' Compensation Quarterly--The Official Publication of the Workers' Compensation Section of the State Bar of California. 14(1), Spring 2001.

49. Richeimer SH, Bajwa ZH, Kahraman S, Ransil BJ,Warfield CA: Utilization Patterns of Tricyclic Antidepressants in a Multidisciplinary Pain Clinic. The Clinical Journal of Pain. 13(4):324-329, 1997.

50. Richeimer SH: Commentary: Continuous Popliteal Sciatic Nerve Block. The Pain Medicine Journal Club Journal. 3(4):159-160, 1997.

51. Richeimer SH: Commentary: Unusual Complication After Interventional Pain Management. Cases of the MGH Pain Center. 1(2):1997 (

52. Richeimer SH: Evaluation of the Patient with Pain; in, Gershwin ME, Hamilton M (Eds): The Pain Management Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Diagnosis & Treatment. Humana Press, 1998.

53. Richeimer SH, Macres SM: Psychological and Medical Complications of Chronic Pain Management. Seminars in Anesthesia. 15(3):224-237, 1996.

54. Richeimer SH, Book Review: Management of Migraine. Anesthesiology. 85(5):1225-1226, 1996.

55. Richeimer SH: Management of Cancer Pain. Newsletter: The Oncology Nursing Society, Greater Sacramento Chapter, April 1997.

56. Richeimer SH: Psychological Intervention in Delirium. Postgraduate Medicine. 81(5):173-180, 1987.

57. Richeimer SH, Bajwa ZH, Antigua-Martinez M, Ransil BJ, Warfield CA: Global Assessment of Pain Impairment Scale (The GAPI): A Simple Self-rated Scale of Pain Related Impairment. Poster Session, IASP 8th World Congress on Pain, Vancouver, BC, August 1996.

58. Richeimer SH, Bajwa ZH, Kahraman S, Warfield CA: Impact of Side Effects on Treatment with Tricyclic Antidepressants in a Multidisciplinary Pain Clinic. Poster session, American Society of Regional Anesthesia, Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, 1995.

59. Richeimer SH, Kahraman S, Bajwa ZH: Patterns of Use of Tricyclic Antidepressants in a Tertiary Care, Multidisciplinary Pain Management Center. Poster session, American Academy of Neurology, Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA, May 1995.

60. Shahbazian MS, Richeimer SH: Implant Technologies for Severe Pain: Why, When, and the Outcomes. Practical Pain Management. 11(8), 2011.

61. Szuba MP, Guze BH, Richeimer SH: The Post-Residency Perspective of the Psychiatric Chief Resident. (Letter) Academic Psychiatry. 1993.

62. Tepper G, Richeimer SH, Sugay J: Outpatient Surgery: Spinal Applications. Orthopedic Special Edition. 7(1):19-23, 2001.

63. Van Noord BA, Richeimer S. Peripheral Nerve Stimulation to Treat Medically Refractory Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia. ASA Anesthesiology 2012 (Poster), Washington, DC 2012.

64. Victor L, Richeimer SH: Psychosocial Therapies for Neck Pain. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America. (3)643-657, August 2003.

65. Victor L, Richeimer SH: Trustworthiness as a Clinical Variable—The Problem of Trust in the Management of Chronic, Nonmalignant Pain. Pain Medicine. 6(5):385-391, 2005.

66. Weinstein F, Richeimer SH, Bernstein A, Kapenstein T, Penn E: Spirituality Assessments and Interventions in Pain Medicine. Practical Pain Management. 14(5):62-67, 2014.

67. Weschules DJ, Bain KT, Richeimer SH: Actual and Potential Drug Interactions Associated with Methadone. Pain Medicine. 9(3):315-44, April 2008.

68. Zaghi S, Richeimer SH: Understanding Potential Complications of Epidural Steroid Injections. Practical Pain Management.11(4):45-50, May 2011.

Articles Written by Steven Richeimer, MD

Opioid Pain Relievers

An in-depth description of opioid pain relievers with a view towards new technology.

Nerve Blocks: Part 2

Part 2 is a discussion of different types of blocks including peripheral and sympathetic nerve blocks.

7 Tips for Exercising When You Have Chronic Pain

A pain medicine expert provides 7 tips to help you exercise with pain. Cynthia, who suffered a ballet injury, tells her story of how she got back on her feet per se.

Why Is Sciatica So Painful?

A question patients often ask is, “Why is sciatica so painful?” They often believe there’s something unique about sciatica versus other types of spinal nerve pain.

Tactical Treatments Help Manage Neck and Back Pain

Pain management specialists provide many different treatments, including activity modification, medications, therapeutic injections, physical therapy, and acupuncture.

Low-dose Opioids May Help Patients Confront Chronic Back Pain

Opioids make life easier for countless people who live with debilitating pain.

Psychologists Help Chronic Pain Patients

Being referred to a psychologist as part of your chronic pain treatment plan does not mean that your doctor thinks that your pain is all in your head. If your doctor refers you to a psychologist, it means that he or she is well-aware of the emotional effects chronic pain can have.

Pain Management Center

The Pain Management Center on SpineUniverse helps you understand various pain management treatments and techniques. Learn about spinal pumps, spinal cord stimulation, and other treatments pain management specialists use to help chronic pain sufferers find pain relief.

Drugs and Medications Center

The SpineUniverse Drugs and Medications Center explains everything you need to know about over-the-counter and prescription medications used to treat back pain and neck pain.

Six Things to Know About Storing and Disposing Prescription Drugs

Properly disposing of medications is important and more complicated than you think.

Healing Power of Man’s Best Friend—and Cats, too/Pets Can Be Powerful Medicine

Pain medicine specialist, Steven Richeimer, MD, explains why having a pet, or interacting with a trained dog or cat may improve a pain patient's quality of life.

New Technologies for Treating Sciatica and Back Pain

Radiofrequency Discal procedures, along with pain-relieving devices and spinal pumps are among the new technologies used to ease back pain and sciatica that is caused by disc problems.

Pain Management Techniques to Help Conquer Back and Neck Pain

Spine specialists help patients who suffer acute and chronic pain to find relief using new procedures and devices that include radiofrequency discal procedures, spinal pumps and stimulators.

6 Ways Regular Exercise Affects Chronic Pain

An analysis of 33 different studies concluded that exercise reduces pain and improves physical functionality related to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia.

Percutaneous Neuromodulation Therapy (PNT)

Percutaneous neuromodulation therapy (PNT) is a non-invasive, low-risk procedure that can help treat pain.

Case Studies Presented by Steven Richeimer, MD

Severe Low Back Pain in a 90-Year Old Male

Presented by: S. Richeimer MD

Patient History The patient is a 90-year-old male with a long history of intermittent low back pain that was well-controlled for years after a L3-L5 laminectomy. During the past 9-months, the patient’s low back pain has progressed to severe and constant. Pain radiates into both legs but is

Articles Reviewed by Steven Richeimer, MD

The Discography Controversy: Discussion

Risks of discography include discitis, neurologic and visceral injury, dye reactions, and spinal headache. Spinal cord injury, vascular injury, prevertebral abscess, and subdural empyema have been reported post-discography.

Alternative Treatments for Chronic Pain

Many patients find chronic pain relief from complimentary and alternative medicines (CAM). Depending on your type of chronic pain, you may want to try acupuncture or herbal remedies. Massage is also a good treatment option for chronic pain.

Causes of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can be caused by so many things: Read this article to learn the general categories of chronic pain causes.

Drugs Used to Treat Pain: Opioids - Narcotics

Although the terminology is not precisely correct, pain-relieving opioids are often called narcotics, and they may be prescribed to treat many types of pain.

Common Chronic Pain Questions

The term chronic pain is generally used to describe pain that has lasted for more than six months. It isn't always clear what causes chronic pain. There are several possibilities.

Surgery for Chronic Pain

Surgery is a last resort option for chronic pain, but in some cases, it may be necessary. Learn when doctors recommend surgery for chronic pain patients.

Symptoms of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is much more than pain. It can lead to other physical, social, and emotional problems that can feel overwhelming.

Exams and Tests to Diagnose Chronic Pain

Your doctor will need to run several exams and tests, and through all of it, he or she will be trying to figure out what's causing your chronic pain.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is hard to define because it affects people so differently and can come in so many forms.

Anatomy of Chronic Pain

Nerves are what enable us to feel pain, so if you have chronic pain, there's probably something wrong with your nerves.

Cervical Epidural Injection

Learn what to expect from cervical epidural injections here. An epidural injection places anti-inflammatory medicine into the epidural space to decrease inflammation of the nerve roots, hopefully reducing the pain in the neck, shoulders, and arms.

Thoracic Epidural Injection

An epidural injection places anti-inflammatory medicine into the epidural space to decrease inflammation of the nerve roots, hopefully reducing the pain in the mid back or around the rib cage.

Lumbar Epidural Injection

A lumbar epidural injection places anti-inflammatory medicine, such as cortisone, near the nerve roots that are inflamed and causing pain. It should relieve pain in the back or legs. Read this full explanation of what happens during the procedure.

Chronic Pain Update: Ziconotide - A New Class of Pharmacologic Agent

Ziconotide is the first FDA-approved agent in a promising class of drugs called the conotoxins. Its release carried the specific indication for intrathecal use in chronic pain patients.

Exercise and Chronic Pain

Even if it doesn't sound appealing, you need to maintain an exercise plan if you have chronic pain. There are many benefits to exercise and physical activity. Staying active may prevent your pain from getting worse.

Financial Disclosures

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Author's Statement

I, or an immediate family member, have a financial interest(s) or affiliation(s) with the following commercial companies whose products and / or services may be mentioned in the materials I have authored, edited or reviewed for presentation on Vertical Health, LLC’s websites.

Disclosed Relationships

Grants/Research Support
Medtronic, Boston Scientific (for the USC Pain Center)
Speakers' Bureau
Merck (inactive >1 year)