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About Joel Castellanos, MD
Joel Castellanos MD, is a board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation and pain medicine physician, and serves as medical director of Inpatient Rehabilitation. Dr. Castellanos' prime focus is improving function using an individualized approach. His expertise with interventional pain techniques allows for an integrative strategy to preserve and restore function. Dr. Castellanos evaluates, diagnoses and treats all forms of functional disability and pain using a multi-disciplinary team-based approach.
He is particularly interested in neuromodulation at various levels including spinal cord stimulation and peripheral nerve stimulation, interventional spine procedures, radiofrequency neurotomy, ultrasound-guided and fluoroscopically-guided procedures, and regenerative medicine such as platelet-rich plasma, stem cells, and Tenex (minimally invasive technology for treatment of chronic pain).
While Dr. Castellanos welcomes and treats all patients with different types of functional impairments and pain, he has specific clinical interests in pelvic pain, complex regional pain syndrome, phantom limb pain, and post-spinal cord injury pain syndromes. His research interests include altering nutrition as a means of treating chronic pain, neuromodulation for chronic painful conditions as well as the potential use of psychedelics for these conditions.
An associate professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at UC San Diego School of Medicine, Dr. Castellanos instructs pain medicine fellows, as well as medical students, residents in their pain rotations. Dr. Castellanos completed his fellowship in pain medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine. He completed residency training in physical medicine and rehabilitation at University of Michigan Medical School, where he also he completed a two-year program in healthcare administration. Dr. Castellanos earned his medical degree from University of Toledo College of Medicine in Ohio. He is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and pain medicine.
Dr. Castellanos is an active member of numerous medical organizations including the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the International Association for the Study of Pain, and the North American Neuromodulation Society.
Outside of work, Dr. Castellanos is an avid sports fan, rooting for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Cleveland Browns, and Detroit Lions. He also enjoys playing basketball and golf.
UC San Diego Health Links
For more information, see Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Center for Pain Medicine.
- University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, Toledo, OH
- UC San Diego, School of Medicine, San Diego, CA
- University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI
Date Joined Staff
- American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
- Pain Medicine
Conditions and Treatments
- Interventional Therapies
- Spinal Cord Stimulation
- Interventional Spine Procedures
- Peripheral Nerve Stimulation
- Radiofrequency Neurotomy
- Image-Guided Interventions: Fluoroscopy and Ultrasound
- Chronic Pain
- Pelvic Pain
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Phantom Limb Pain
- Regenerative Medicine
- Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
- Pain Management
Video: Patient with Prosthetic Legs Inspires Medical TeamTanner Hopson's world was forever changed when a backache turned into a life-threatening case of sepsis in 2019. After being transferred to UC San Diego Health, it was determined both of his legs would need to be amputated to save his life from the serious blood infection. A multi-disciplinary team at UC San Diego Health, including Dr. Castellanos, treated Tanner to help him return to optimal function after the life-altering event.