Southwest Spine & Pain chosen for national research trials; cutting-edge doctors help you get your life back

L-R, Drs. Jon Obray, Rick Obray, Derek Frieden of the Southwest Spine & Pain Center, St. George, Utah | Photos courtesy Southwest Spine & Pain Center, image composite St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Living with pain can be difficult at best, debilitating at worst and for the many who suffer from acute or chronic pain it may seem like there is no way out. The good news is there is hope.

The physicians and staff at Southwest Spine & Pain Center, 652 S. Medical Center Drive, Ste. 110, in St. George, have combined top-notch training and cutting-edge medical research with a passion for patient care.

The center is an established world-class pain treatment center in Southern Utah, chosen among a handful of clinics nationwide to conduct vital research and clinical trials.

The doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating chronic spine and pain conditions that include among others: cancer pain, phantom limb pain, herniated disks, neuropathy, chronic migraines and vertebral compression fractures. They do it with the care of skilled and well-trained physicians.

“They have such a great background,” Clinic Manager Shannon Akins said, “we even have patients come from out of state after learning about our doctors and their training”

About the physicians

  • Jon B. Obray, M.D.

Jon-B-ObrayDr. Jon Obray  graduated from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, did his residency training in anesthesiology at the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education in Rochester, Minnesota, and was fellowship trained at the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education in Jacksonville, Florida, specializing in pain management.

Jon Obray is board certified in anesthesiology and pain management by the American Board of Anesthesiology.

According to the bio on his Web page:

Dr. Jon Obray is dedicated to the treatment of spine conditions and painful disorders. His special interests include minimally-invasive technologies to improve the lives of his patients.

  • Rick W. Obray, M.D.

Rick-W-ObrayDr. Rick Obray also graduated from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, after which he completed a transitional year internship at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Rick Obray returned to Baltimore where he completed his residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in diagnostic radiology.

Rick Obray was also fellowship trained at Johns Hopkins Hospital in musculoskeletal radiology and also in pain management at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

According to the bio on his Web page:

Dr. Rick Obray is one of the few physicians in the country to complete fellowship training in both pain medicine and diagnostic imaging.

  • Derek Frieden, M.D.

Derek-FriedenDr. Frieden graduated with his medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine in Roseau, Dominica, West Indies; he completed his residency in anesthesiology at Saint Louis University Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, and was fellowship trained in pain management at Harvard University.

Dr. Frieden is board certified in anesthesiology and pain management by the American Board of Anesthesiology.

According to the bio on his Web page:

Dr. Frieden specializes in the evaluation and treatment of painful spinal conditions and multiple painful disorders, utilizing the latest technologies including image-guided minimally invasive procedures.

Research and clinical trials

The St. George location of the Southwest Spine & Pain Center is currently conducting three research trials.

The center is one of only a small number of clinics throughout the nation chosen to be a host site for these trials, Akins said.

Learn more about the clinical trials:

Staff observations

“They are always on the cutting-edge of advances in pain medicine and medicine in general,” Akins said of Southwest Spine & Pain Center’s doctors.

Because of their unique backgrounds and dedication to being on the cutting-edge of medical science, the physicians and staff at Southwest Spine & Pain Center offer unparalleled patient care from the diagnostic stage all the way to treatment and rehabilitation.

Brookanne Mickelson, a nurse practitioner at the clinic, said:

One of the things that I think makes the providers here, particularly our physicians, stand apart from others is their ability to diagnose patients more accurately because of their expertise.  They stay up to date on the latest treatment options for pain patients. They are so intelligent and compassionate that they’re both very good diagnosticians and often times give our patients who may have been labeled a chronic pain patient the opportunity to get better because of their treatments.

Mickelson has worked for 15 years as a nurse practitioner in treating acute and chronic pain conditions, she said, and has spent the last three years at Southwest Spine and Pain where she is continually impressed with both the skill and compassion of the physicians she works with.

“They never stop learning,” Mickelson said. “They are so tenacious in finding the correct diagnosis – and they have the ability to treat it adequately.  They really go above and beyond to help patients have the opportunity to get better.”

In the end, getting better really is what it is all about.

“The most rewarding thing for me,” Akins said, “is to see someone in so much pain and to see them basically get their life back, to see them be able to go out and do the the things that they enjoy.”

Five locations, soon to be six

Southwest Spine and Pain Center is currently open in five locations throughout Utah; St. George, Hurricane, Cedar City, Richfield and Logan; a new location in west St. George on Sunset Boulevard is planned to open in mid-August. The clinic accepts a variety of insurance plans and have same-day appointments available.

• S P O N S O R E D   C O N T E N T  •


  • Southwest Spine and Pain in St. George: 652 S. Medical Center Drive, Suite 110 | Telephone 435-656-2424 | Hours – Monday–Thursday 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m.–noon | Website
  • Other locations
    • Hurricane: 25 N. 2000 West, Suite 8 | Telephone 435-635-0174 | Open four days a week | Read more
    •  Cedar City: 1303 N. Main St. | Telephone 435-586-2229 | Hours – Monday–Thursday 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m.–noon
    • Richfield: 70 E. 1000 North, Suite 2C | Telephone 435-586-2229 | By appointment only
    •  Logan: 550 E 1400 North, Suites X & Y | Telephone 435-787-8146 | Hours – Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
    • West St. George – coming soon: 2107 W Sunset Blvd., Suite 102

Related posts

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • jellybelly August 4, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Brookanne Mickelson is a Nurse Practicioner. Big difference between an RN (which she was referred to as) and an FNP-BC. ?

  • Bender August 4, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    MDs with man bangs. Be still my beating heart.

  • kaylynnpeterson February 24, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Great group of doctors, nurses, and staff. They really care a lot about their patients. I highly recommend them to anyone having back, neck, and joint pain. We’ve been going to them since 2011 when my mom found out she had a fractured vertebra in the cervical part of her spine, and also for pain from shingles. Dr. Frieden was her doctor and she really liked his gentleness to her tiny body. He did a procedure on that fracture and it helped repair her fracture.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.