Michelle Poliak-Tunis, MD

  • Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Pain Management
  • Spine Medicine
  • Rehabilitation Medicine (Inpatient Hospitalist)
Michelle Poliak-Tunis, MD


Michelle Poliak-Tunis, MD, is a UW Health physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor specializing in pain medicine and an assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.  

Dr. Poliak-Tunis diagnoses and treats patients with chronic (long-term) pain, particularly those with conditions affecting the neck, back, spine, hips and knees. She provides a wide range of non-invasive treatments, including physical and occupational therapy, medications and pain psychology. She also specializes in interventional pain management methods, such as injections, nerve blocks and surgery. 

Dr. Poliak-Tunis understands that pain can impact every aspect of daily life. She partners with her patients to find solutions that improve their overall function and quality of life. Above all, she believes in treating her patients like family. Through open communication and shared decision-making, she makes sure they feel comfortable expressing their needs.  

Outside of work, Dr. Poliak-Tunis enjoys photography, traveling and spending time with her family.

I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel — I just want to improve my patient’s functionality and quality of life by listening to their story.

Languages spoken
  • English
  • Spanish

Education & credentials

Board certifications
  • Pain Medicine
  • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Medical School
  • University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX

Pain Medicine, West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
  • Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC

Areas of expertise

  • Back pain
  • Blood Patch
  • Botulinum Toxin Muscle Injection
  • Bursa Injections
  • Bursitis
  • Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections
  • Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar Medial Branch Blocks
  • Chronic Low Back Pain
  • Chronic Neck Pain
  • Facet Joint Injections/Medial Branch Blocks
  • Intercostal Nerve Blocks
  • Low Back Pain
  • Lumbar Selective Nerve Root Blocks
  • Musculoskeletal Injuries
  • Musculoskeltal Back Pain
  • Myofascial Pain Syndrome
  • Neck pain
  • Peripheral Nerve Blocks
  • Radiofrequency Ablation
  • Sacral Lateral Branch Blocks
  • Sacroiliac Joint Steroid Injections
  • Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial and Implant
  • Spine Injections
  • Spine care
  • Sympathetic Ganglia Blocks (Stellate, Celiac, Hypogastric, Lumbar, Ganglion impar)
  • Transforaminal Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections
  • Ultrasound-Guided Joint Steroid Injection