Understanding Chronic Abdominal Pain

Chronic abdominal pain is a complex condition characterized by persistent discomfort in the abdominal region that lasts for more than three months.

What is Chronic Abdominal Pain?

Chronic abdominal pain is a complex condition characterized by persistent discomfort or discomfort in the abdominal region that lasts for more than three months. This type of pain can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life and may be associated with a variety of underlying causes and contributing factors.


Chronic abdominal pain can manifest in various ways, including:

  • Persistent Aching: Dull or constant pain in the abdomen, often localized to specific areas.
  • Sharp or Shooting Pain: Sudden, intense pain that may come and go or worsen with movement.
  • Radiating Pain: Pain that spreads from the abdomen to other areas of the body, such as the back or chest.
  • Physical Limitations: Pain may limit movement, appetite, and daily activities, leading to reduced quality of life.

Causes of Chronic Abdominal Pain

Chronic abdominal pain can have numerous underlying causes, including:

  • Gastrointestinal Disorders: Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), gastritis, or peptic ulcers can cause chronic abdominal pain.
  • Structural Abnormalities: Hernias, adhesions, or scar tissue from previous surgeries can lead to chronic abdominal pain.
  • Functional Disorders: Conditions such as functional dyspepsia or functional abdominal pain syndrome may cause chronic abdominal pain without an identifiable structural or inflammatory cause.
  • Pelvic Disorders: Conditions affecting the reproductive organs, such as endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), can cause chronic abdominal pain in women.
  • Nervous System Disorders: Disorders affecting the nerves in the abdomen, such as diabetic neuropathy or neuralgia, can cause chronic abdominal pain.

Types of Chronic Abdominal Pain

Chronic abdominal pain can present in various forms, including:

  • Nociceptive Pain: Resulting from tissue damage or inflammation in the abdomen, such as from gastrointestinal disorders or structural abnormalities.
  • Neuropathic Pain: Caused by nerve damage or dysfunction, often resulting in sharp, shooting, or burning pain.
  • Functional Pain: Chronic abdominal pain without an identifiable structural or inflammatory cause, often associated with functional gastrointestinal disorders.

Your Path to Comfort and Relief

Understanding the complexities of chronic abdominal pain is the first step toward effective management and treatment. At Napa Pain Institute, our team of specialists is committed to partnering with you on your journey to comfort and support. Through personalized treatment plans, innovative therapies, and compassionate care, we strive to address the underlying causes of chronic abdominal pain and improve your overall well-being.

We offer many treatments including: 

Medication Management

Sympathetic Block

If you are experiencing chronic abdominal pain, we encourage you to contact us to schedule a consultation and explore how we can help you find relief and support.

Real Stories of Hope & Healing

Our Patients share their journeys

David B.

“She changed the quality of my life so drastically and in such a positive way I can honestly tell people that she and Napa Pain Institute changed my life.”

Carolyn C.

“I highly, highly recommend Napa Pain Institute for anyone dealing with chronic or acute pain. They will find you a solution. And they are all wonderful.

Bruce F.

“I would easily give them and their facility the highest rating. They care and you are always treated with respect”.

Jeff B.

"I transferred to Napa Pain Institute 3 years ago and it was the best thing I have ever done."

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Dr. Johansson comes to us as a fellowship-trained and board-certified pain management specialist with nearly a decade of experience. She completed her fellowship training at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD where she then became the associate program director of the pain medicine fellowship and an assistant professor of military and emergency medicine. She graduated from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, Virginia, was Pre-medicine at San Diego State University, and received her BSN from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Her breadth of experience comes from a full career of serving in the United States Navy where she was the recipient of multiple academic and military service awards including a Meritorious Service Medal, three Navy Commendation Medals, and numerous other individual, unit, and campaign awards. She has multiple published works and is the founding member of a military Pain Medicine Special Interest Group with the American Society of Regional Anesthesia.

In her free time, Dr. Johansson enjoys traveling, is newly married, loves dogs, and enjoys cooking and baking, as well as other creative pursuits. She has a particular interest in advanced procedural techniques for chronic pain relief and the effects of lifestyle on pain and healing. She looks forward to continuing our mission of providing our patients with the best care, every day.

Eric Grigsby, MD, MBA

CEO & Founder of Neurovations

Dr. Eric Grigsby enjoys a national reputation for excellence in the field of Pain Management. He has a background as a researcher, teacher and clinician and brings over 30 years of clinical experience to the Napa Pain Institute. Dr. Grigsby attended elementary and secondary school in his hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Economics from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He formed an interest in Pain Management as a career while working at Boston Children’s Hospital in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery.

After graduating from Boston University Medical School in 1984, Dr. Grigsby trained in General Surgery, Anesthesiology, and Pain Management at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He was invited to join the Medical Staff and teach at the Mayo Medical School until moving to California in 1989. The Dean of the University of California at Davis Medical Center then invited Dr. Grigsby to establish their first Pain Management Center, where he served as Medical Director until 1992. Following his post at UC Davis, Dr. Grigsby established his private Pain Management practice in Napa, California.

Today, he and his staff of over 50 professionals consult with patients throughout Northern California and the western United States.  More recently, Dr Grigsby completed his Masters in Business Administration from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He speaks nationally on topics such as non-operative treatment of spinal disorders, the safe use of medications for the treatment of pain, and the legal and regulatory issues relating to the proper treatment of patients with chronic illness.