Dr. Levin completed a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Michigan in 2007, and a pain medicine fellowship at the Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008. Currently, he is a member of both the departments of orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery at Stanford University, where he also is the director of the PM&R interventional spine fellowship.

Clinical Focus

  • Physical Medicine and Rehab
  • Spine care
  • Spine Injections
  • EMG (nerve tests)

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Director, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Spine Fellowship, Stanford (2015 - Present)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Health Policy Committee Member, Spine Intervention Society (SIS) (2014 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Board Certification: Electrodiagnostic Medicine, American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine (2010)
  • Board Certification: Physical Medicine and Rehab, American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehab (2008)
  • Board Certification: Pain Medicine, American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehab (2008)
  • Fellowship:Virginia Commonwealth University-Graduate Medical EducationVA
  • Medical Education:Virginia Commonwealth University (2003) VA
  • Residency:University of MichiganMI
  • Internship:St. Joseph Mercy HospitalMI


All Publications

  • TO THE EDITOR. Spine Levi, D., Levin, J. 2016; 41 (6): E379-?

    View details for DOI 10.1097/BRS.0000000000001413

    View details for PubMedID 26720175

  • A Narrative Review of Intraarticular Zygapophysial Steroid Injections for Lumbar Zygapophysial Mediated Pain. Current Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports Schneider, B., Levin, J. 2016; 4 (2): 108-116
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation for CRPS. Current Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports Drakeley, M., Ho, S., Helm, E., Levin, J., Rosenquist, R. 2016; 4 (2)
  • Intradiscal Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection for Chronic Discogenic Low Back Pain: Preliminary Results from a Prospective Trial. Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.) Levi, D., Horn, S., Tyszko, S., Levin, J., Hecht-Leavitt, C., Walko, E. 2016; 17 (6): 1010-22


    Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been found to be effective for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. The treatment of discogenic pain with PRP is under investigation.To assess changes in pain and function in patients with discogenic low back pain after an intradiscal injection of PRP.Prospective trial.Patients were diagnosed with discogenic low back pain by clinical means, imaging, and exclusion of other structures. Provocation discography was used in a minority of the patients. Patients underwent a single treatment of intradiscal injection of PRP at one or multiple levels.Patients were considered a categorical success if they achieved at least 50% improvement in the visual analog score and 30% decrease in the Oswestry Disability Index at 1, 2, and 6 months post-treatment.22 patients underwent intradiscal PRP. Nine patients underwent a single level injection, ten at 2 levels, two at 3 levels, and one at 5 levels. Categorical success rates were as follows: 1 month: 3/22 = 14% (95% CI 0% to 28%), 2 months: 7/22 = 32% (95% CI 12% to 51%), 6 months: 9/19 = 47% (95% CI 25% to 70%).This trial demonstrates encouraging preliminary 6 month findings, using strict categorical success criteria, for intradiscal PRP as a treatment for presumed discogenic low back pain. Randomized placebo controlled trials are needed to further evaluate the efficacy of this treatment.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/pm/pnv053

    View details for PubMedID 26814283

  • A Systematic Review of Available Treatments for Discogenic Low Back Pain. Current Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports Lucas, M., Stewart, C., Mattie, R., McCormick, Z., Saltychev, M., Levin, J. 2016; 4 (2): 117-131
  • Epidural Steroid Injections are Safe and Effective: Multisociety Letter in Support of the Safety and Effectiveness of Epidural Steroid Injections PAIN MEDICINE Kennedy, D. J., Levin, J., Rosenquist, R., Singh, V., Smith, C., Stojanovic, M. P., Vorobeychik, Y. 2015; 16 (5): 833-838


    In April 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Drug Safety Communication requesting that corticosteroid labeling include warnings that injection of corticosteroids into the epidural space of the spine may result in rare but serious adverse events, including loss of vision, stroke, paralysis, and death.The International Spine Intervention Society spearheaded a collaboration of more than a dozen other medical societies in submitting the letter below to the FDA on November 7, 2014. We are publishing the letter to ensure that the readership of Pain Medicine is aware of the multisociety support for the safety and effectiveness of these procedures. A special note of thanks to all of the societies who signed on in support of the message.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/pme.12667

    View details for Web of Science ID 000354742300001

    View details for PubMedID 25586082

  • A Systematic Review of the Literature on Caudal, Interlaminar, and Transforaminal Injections From the Last 5 Years. Curr Phys Med Rehabil Rep Mattie, R., McCormick, Z., Yu, S., Kennedy, D., Levin, J. 2015: 159-172
  • A Quantitative Study of Intervertebral Disc Morphologic Changes Following Plasma-Mediated Percutaneous Discectomy PAIN MEDICINE Smuck, M., Levin, J., Zemper, E., Ali, A., Kennedy, D. J. 2014; 15 (10): 1695-1703

    View details for DOI 10.1111/pme.12525

    View details for Web of Science ID 000344244800005

  • The importance of image guidance during epidural injections: Rates of incorrect needle placement during non-image guided epidural injections J Spine Levin, J., Wetzel, R., Smuck, M. 2012; 1 (2)
  • Evidence-Based Conviction PM&R Levin, J. H., Smuck, M. 2009; 1 (9): 891-892

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.pmrj.2009.07.007

    View details for Web of Science ID 000208411900019

    View details for PubMedID 19769928

  • Prospective, double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trials in interventional spine: what the highest quality literature tells us SPINE JOURNAL Levin, J. H. 2009; 9 (8): 690-703


    The prospective, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study design is essential in the interventional spine literature to truly evaluate whether or not a procedure is effective.This article will critically evaluate the highest quality interventional spine literature with strict interpretation of the results of these trials.Review article.Extensive Medline/Pubmed searches and searches of the large review articles on the major interventional spine topics were performed to find all prospective, double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trials in the English language interventional spine literature.Fluoroscopically-guided lumbosacral transforaminal epidural corticosteroid injections are effective in the treatment of acute/subacute lumbosacral radicular pain, and in preventing future surgeries. Injection of corticosteroid or Sarapin on the cervical or lumbar medical branch nerves is not effective. When done with proper technique, percutaneous radiofrequency lumbar and cervical medial branch neurotomy are both effective. Intraarticular sacroiliac joint corticosteroid injections are effective in patients with spondyloarthropathy. IDET is modestly effective in the treatment of lumbosacral discogenic pain in carefully selected patients. Percutaneous radio frequency neurotomy of the ramus communicans is effective in the treatment of lumbosacral discogenic pain. No firm conclusions can be drawn about cervical epidural corticosteroid injections, lumbosacral epidural corticosteroid injections for the treatment of chronic radicular pain, cervical or lumbosacral intraarticular zygapophysial joint corticosteroid injections for the treatment of degenerative zygapophysial joint pain, or intradiscal corticosteroid injections.The prospective, double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trials in the interventional spine literature demonstrate efficacy from several different procedures when properly performed on appropriate patients. Other procedures have been shown to lack efficacy, while inconclusive evidence exists from multiple other interventional spine procedures. Further details are discussed in the text.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.spinee.2008.06.447

    View details for Web of Science ID 000268786300013

    View details for PubMedID 18789773

  • Rethinking convention. PM & R : the journal of injury, function, and rehabilitation Levin, J. H. 2009; 1 (7): 694-?

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.pmrj.2009.04.004

    View details for PubMedID 19627966

  • Re: Manchikanti L, Singh V, Falco FJ, et al. Cervical medial branch blocks for chronic cervical facet joint pain: a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial with one-year follow-up. Spine 2008;33:1813-20. SPINE Smuck, M., Levin, J. H. 2009; 34 (10): 1116-1116

    View details for DOI 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181a0a262

    View details for Web of Science ID 000265677900017

    View details for PubMedID 19404184

  • Re: Scanlon GC, Moeller-Bertram T, Romanowsky SM, et al. Cervical transforaminal epidural steroid injections: more dangerous than we think? Spine 2007;32:1249-56. Spine Smuck, M. W., Levin, J. H. 2007; 32 (23): 2638-?

    View details for PubMedID 17978668

  • Epidural fibrosis following percutaneous disc decompression with coblation technology. Pain physician Smuck, M., Benny, B., Han, A., Levin, J. 2007; 10 (5): 691-696


    Complications reported from percutaneous disc decompression (PDD) include discitis, anaphylaxis (with chemonucleolysis), instability, increased back pain, and reherniation. To the best of our knowledge, there is no report of epidural fibrosis occurring with any of the many types of PDD.To document a case of epidural fibrosis following PDD with coblation technology (Nucleoplasty), a previously unreported complication of this procedure.Case report.Details are presented on a 46-year-old man's history, diagnostic test results, treatments, and progression of his symptoms.Following PDD with coblation technology at L5-S1, the patient noticed improvement in his left lower extremity radicular symptoms and low back pain. He continued to improve over the following week to near complete relief. He resumed his normal activities. Three months post treatment, he experienced a recurrence of his radicular pain with a diminished left Achilles reflex. A subsequent MRI showed improvement of the previous left paracentral protrusion at L5-S1 along with a new contrast enhancing soft tissue mass. This mass, consistent with epidural fibrosis, was located in the left antero-lateral spinal canal and encased the left S1 nerve root. On the patient's next follow-up visit, he reported spontaneous resolution in his symptoms. He had stopped all pain medications and returned to his usual activities.This case is the first reported occurrence of epidural fibrosis following percutaneous lumbar disc decompression.

    View details for PubMedID 17876367

  • Radiculopathy from herniation of the nucleus pulposus: 1. Epidemiology, pathophysiology, and natural history J. Back Musculoskeletal Rehabil Levin J, Smuck M 2007; 20 (2,3): 97-101
  • Radiculopathy from herniation of the nucleus pulposus: 2. The role of corticosteroids J. Back Musculoskeletal Rehabil Levin J, Smuck M 2007; 20 (2,3): 103-13