Welcome – Matthew Ried, PA-C

Pain & Neurology Specialists is excited to announce the addition of Matthew Ried, PA-C to our provider team!

Matt received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Dayton in Dayton, OH. He then went on to pursue a second Bachelor’s Degree as well as a Master’s Degree through the very competitive Department of Defense Interservice Physician Assistant Program (IPAP). This program was completed through the University of Nebraska Medical School where he completed rotations in 10+ specialty fields. Matt joins us following 8 years of clinical experience in the military treating our active service members with experience in the fields of trauma, emergency, urgent care and general medicine in both civilian, military and deployed environments.

To request an appointment:
Call (843) 252-4900
OR fill out an appointment request form at

Matt is now seeing patients full-time at our Columbia location. Our practice is happy to have him as a valuable resource offering patients knowledgeable care and increased availability.

Spinal Cord Stimulation

What is Spinal Cord Stimulation?

Spinal Cord Stimulation is a pain management therapy that has garnered increased attention in recent years for its effective ability to intercept pain signals generated in the spine from reaching the brain. This method of treatment uses electrical pulses from an implanted device to stimulate nerves and essentially mask the negative sensations that they are producing for a patient in pain.

What does Spinal Cord Stimulation treat?

Spinal Cord Stimulation is typically for people with chronic back pain that have been unsuccessful with other treatments or who have begun to experience increased pain over time. Spinal Cord Stimulation helps with things such as Spinal Cord Injury, Spinal Stenosis, Sciatica, Degenerative Disc Disease, CRPS and failed back surgery. It can also help with Neuropathic pain caused from a pinched nerve.

The Procedure:

Before receiving permanent implantation of a STIM unit, candidates will undergo a trial to determine if this will work as a viable form of relief for them. Using a hollow needle and x-ray fluoroscopy, electrical leads are implanted near the spine to target specific nerves corresponding to an individual’s specific area of pain. They are connected to the device that is worn externally for the 3-7 day trial period in which patients are instructed to keep track of their pain level during normally exasperating activities. The device generates a current that can be adjusted to varying levels of frequency to suit a patient’s needs. Depending on these settings, a patient may feel a tingling sensation that masks their normal pain sensations or nothing at all.

A trial procedure is deemed successful if a patient experiences at least a 50% reduction in pain. Once proven to be an eligible candidate, patients may schedule an outpatient surgery to receive permanent implantation. Systems can last anywhere from 2-10 years depending on if they are equipped with a rechargeable system and can also be removed at any time without damage to the spinal system.


Pain Specialists works with preferred partners St. Jude and Abbott to provide this treatment to patients. Get in touch with our specialists today to see if you may be an eligible candidate.



Get to Know Dr. Drakeley!

As many of our patients likely know, at the beginning of the year, Pain Specialists opened a new office location in beautiful Beaufort, SC. As our practice as well as the needs of the community have grown, we continuously work to anticipate and accommodate the needs of all of our patients. The Beaufort branch is our practice’s way of renewing our commitment to accessible, high-quality care in the lowcountry.

With that being said, as our practice expands over time so does our need for top of the line physicians to continue to provide a personalized healthcare experience. During the process of recruiting a physician, we interview LOTS of candidates and could not have made a better decision than Dr. Matthew Drakeley as the newest addition to Pain Specialists team!

Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dr. Drakeley received his medical degree from The Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia. He subsequently completed a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) residency at the University of Pittsburgh and was named Administrative Chief Resident for 2017-2018. Dr. Drakeley continued on to complete a one-year fellowship in Pain Management at the University of Pittsburgh.

While Dr. Drakeley misses cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penguins as a local, he enjoys taking advantage of all of the natural beauty (and golf courses) that South Carolina has to offer. We are so excited to continue to grow our practice with the help of such wonderful physicians such as Dr. Drakeley!

Dr. Drakeley sees patients at our Charleston, Columbia and Beaufort locations. To learn more about Dr. Drakeley, his background and treatment methods check out our Youtube channel!

Ensuring Safety in Pain Management

The specialty practice of Pain Management is a fairly new addition to the repertoire of the medical field. While there is an indispensable need for this expertise with Chronic Pain affecting over 11% of the population each year, we realize that this field requires vigilance, extensive clinical knowledge, and ethical responsibility on behalf of its physicians. More importantly, our owner and leading physician, Dr. Edward Tavel knows this through his 25 years of experience working in this field since its beginning.

At Pain Specialists our goal is to provide ETHICAL, SAFE, and EFFECTIVE pain management solutions to our patients. Our board certified physicians use a multi-faceted approach to focus on long-term pain relief and rehabilitation through our interventional treatment options without the need for surgery or habit forming drugs.

To ensure our patient’s safety, our practice holds ourselves to both, high regulatory and ethical standards in regard to our treatment and prescribing methods. Dr. Tavel and the rest of our physician staff participate in mandatory DHEC training concerning the safe handling of controlled substances and contribute to a continuous, medical review dialogue within our practice.

We are proud to have Dr. Tavel represent our practice as a member of The Medical Safety Review Board for South Carolina. Dr. Tavel was recognized and selected for this position due to his strict operating guidelines employed within PSC and his conservative best practices for ensuring safe pain management treatment.

Our first concern is, and will always be, patient safety and satisfaction. We welcome any feedback, comments, questions, or concerns on this very important and on-going dialogue.

Epidural Steroid Injections (ESI)

What is an ESI?

An epidural steroid injection is a pain management option for people with low back, leg, arm, and neck pain. The injection involves a minimally invasive procedure where a steroid, combined with a numbing agent, is administered into the epidural space of the spine. Depending on the patient’s area of pain, the injection is positioned at a specific level of the spine and side of the body to directly target the affected nerve roots. The injection works to decrease inflammation and pain, as to hopefully improve function for the patient. Most individuals begin to feel relief after only a few days that may last anywhere from a few weeks to several years after the procedure.

Who qualifies to get an ESI?

Epidural steroid injections are helpful to people who have painful inflammatory conditions. Some of these conditions may include; Sciatica, Degenerative Disc Disease, Herniated Disc, and Spinal Stenosis. The injection is an interventional method that can be used to determine whether surgery may or may not be necessary for one of these conditions. Often times the relief provided by an ESI gives patients the ability to work on improving their condition through resources such as physical therapy that may have been too painful before.

Patients considering an ESI should consult with their doctor prior, to ensure this is a safe option for them. The injection can cause a spike in blood-sugar levels for those with diabetes and individuals taking blood-thinners will be asked to stop taking this medication a few days before the procedure.

What to expect from the procedure:

The ESI is an outpatient procedure that can be performed in 15-45 minutes. The patient is awake during this time in order to provide feedback to the physician, although they may be provided mild sedation and a local anesthetic. If any sedation is used, the patient should bring a driver with them the day of the procedure.

The next day normal activity may be resumed but individuals should expect a little soreness and swelling around the injection site. A follow-up appointment will need to be scheduled to discuss with the doctor the effectiveness of the injection and any other concerns you may have.