What’s Up, Doc? | Headache & Pain Center

What’s Up Doc? | South Louisiana Medical Associates
May 1, 2021
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For Dr. Jimmy N. Ponder Jr., M.D. and the team at the Headache & Pain Center, their philosophy centers around treating pain through opioid-free options and minimally invasive procedures.

The Headache & Pain Center is an interventional pain practice that relieves pain in a non-surgical manner and without the use of habit-forming drugs, Dr. Ponder says. Patients are treated through methods like healing injections, neutralization of nerves, freezing of nerves or electrical stimulation of nerves.

The Headache & Pain Center takes an individualized approach to caring for patients, beginning with a thorough examination of what may have led to the pain and a determination of what factors may be contributing to worsening the pain.



The center’s ultimate goal is to help people to return to normalcy and beloved activities that may have been hindered by struggles with pain.

“We get to improve those areas of their lives where the pain was limiting their lifestyle. For instance, if someone enjoys gardening, and they can’t do it because of the pain that they’re experiencing…when we’re able to relieve that pain, we can return some of that function,” Dr. Ponder says.

What makes the center unique, Dr. Ponder says, is its minimization of computers coming between the staff and its patients when possible. 



“We do things a little bit old fashioned,” Dr. Ponder shares. “We still answer the phone when people call. We’re not looking at a computer screen when we see our patients, we’re talking directly to them. We find the computer screen gets in the way of talking to patients.”

It’s that intimate level of care that allows Dr. Ponder and his team to offer the most advanced treatment options and technology. They are proud to offer several minimally invasive outpatient treatment options such as Vertiflex and Kyphoplasty. The Vertiflex procedure is utilized for patients suffering from spinal stenosis. Kyphoplasty is used to treat a spinal compression fracture that could have been caused by osteoporosis or cancer.  

Dr. Ponder developed an interest in pain management in the early 1990s while working as an anesthesiologist. He was drawn to the clinical practice side of pain management that involved interacting with patients and learning how to best serve their needs. Through his background in anesthesiology, Dr. Ponder continues to utilize the injection techniques used in nerve blocks and epidurals, with the help of more precision-guiding tools such as x-ray and ultrasound guidance.


Even with all the technology at their fingertips, Dr. Ponder and his staff still find the greatest joy in the easiest of ways. 

Dr. Ponder shares, “We really enjoy talking to our patients, finding out what their problem what’s causing their pain problem, diagnosing them, and trying to do everything we can in a minimally invasive way to heal their problem or cure their problem.”