Meet Your Chicago Pelvic Pain Specialist: Dr. Janaki Natarajan
Dr. Janaki Natarajan, MD is a trained pelvic pain specialist with extensive experience in helping patients rehabilitate and find relief from a variety of acute and chronic pain conditions. She has experience in treating both male and female patients who experience chronic pelvic pain, core muscular and pelvic floor dysfunction, and musculoskeletal related issues.
In her years of experience working with pain management, Dr. Natarajan frequently encountered patients who suffered from chronic pelvic pain. She saw how often patients had seen numerous specialists and received inadequate treatments that failed to fully address the causes of their pain. Her multi-disciplinary approach to treatment recognizes that there are often several contributing factors to acute and chronic pain and that an effective treatment plan should address the problem from all possible angles. She also believes in creating personal relationships with all of her patients and making sure that everyone who comes to her for treatment feels safe, cared for, and listened to.
Dr. Natarajan loves to be creative and physically active, and when not practicing medicine she enjoys the outdoors, biking, and the arts.
GET TO KNOW YOUR DOCTOR
WHY DID YOU BECOME A DOCTOR?
Growing up, I was always involved in community service and learned from a very early age the importance of helping others. I felt that one of the best ways to help humanity was to help people take care of their own bodies. I’ve also always had a passion for science, the human body, and art. The field of medicine combines all of these in a way that has always appealed to me.
WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF YOUR APPROACH TO TREATMENT?
I believe that the most important first step in any evaluation is in obtaining a comprehensive history and having an open discussion with a patient regarding their problems and goals. Alleviating pain can be very challenging and while some causes may be more obvious than others, there is rarely a single factor which causes the root issue. Patient understanding and education are key for getting the best results in any treatment plan. My goal is to find the root issues which cause/contribute to a patient’s complaint and build a treatment plan that implements every non-invasive treatment option first. When necessary, minimally invasive injections including nerve blocks, hydrodissection, and trigger point injections can be done with ultrasound guidance to desensitize, decrease inflammation, improve pain and overall dysfunction.
WHY DID YOU FOCUS ON PELVIC PAIN?
Pelvic pain in men and women can be improved and with the right approach, there is hope. I always aim to create a multimodal treatment protocol that is tailored to the patient. My goal is to get patients better from a pain, musculoskeletal, urological, gastro-intestinal gynecological, and sexual dysfunction standpoint while also improving on body kinetics, nutrition, lifestyle and overall mental well-being so that they can thrive in their daily lives.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
I really value the human connections that I make with my patients and really getting to know people so that I can help them live happier, healthier, higher-quality lives.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT PELVIC HEALTH?
Chronic pain is real, and not “all in your head.” I’ve met too many people whose genuine pain is dismissed, and this makes them feel hopeless like there’s no solution. Pain is subjective and it can be difficult for people to feel heard, but pelvic pain is as real as a fever or a broken leg. I want my patients to know that with comprehensive treatment and ultimate self-efficacy they can go on to live more fulfilled lives.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE PATIENT CARE?
Effective care requires trust and open two-way conversation between doctor and patient. Too often, doctors are battling time constraints, rushing in and out of appointments too quickly to really listen and understand the needs of their patients. I believe in total patient care, which requires devoting enough time to address my patients’ mental and emotional, as well as physical, needs.
EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE
Dr. Natarajan received her Medical Doctorate from an accelerated 6-year program University of Missouri – Kansas City before going on to complete her internship with LSU Med-Peds program and residency in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. She is board-certified by the American Board of Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine.
Dr. Natarajan has practiced in the Chicago, Illinois area for over 10 years as well as previously in Omaha, Nebraska, and Nashville, Tennessee. Her focus has been on treatment centered on individualized care plans utilizing a comprehensive approach with therapy, medication, and when necessary injections tailored to alleviate pain, maximize function, and improve an individuals’ overall quality of life.
Professional Medical Association Memberships