Care Team

About Advanced Spine & Pain Clinics of MN

The pain management providers at Advanced Spine & Pain Clinics of Minnesota work as an integrated team to address the unique needs of patients who suffer from chronic pain. Our patients receive the comprehensive care and attention that they deserve.

Treating Chronic Pain in Minnesota

Our physicians are double board-certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine by the American Board of Anesthesiology. This allows our practice to provide comfortable sedation for patients who have any anxiety or fear of needles during procedures.

Advanced Spine & Pain Clinics of Minnesota brings the best in today’s minimally invasive, high-tech interventions to the patient. We also incorporate the most up-to-date treatments in medications and alternative modalities.

We work closely with referring providers, chiropractors, physical therapists, orthopedic spine surgeons, neurosurgeons, psychologists, and primary care providers, taking great pride in communicating each patient’s treatment plan with those involved in the patient’s care.

Our Practice Philosophy

Our overriding philosophy in medical practice is Relieve the pain, Restore normal function, and Rejuvenate the body in an ethical and evidence-based manner. We strive to provide the best evidence-based treatment for the timely management of complex spinal and other pain problems, and to keep the patient’s interest top of mind at all times. We want to establish trust and communication with patients so they are treated with dignity and respect. We are constantly learning and growing from our interaction with patients. It is a privilege to assist in their care.

Read below to learn more about our team.

Our Providers

Matthew G. Thorson, MD

Dr. Thorson grew up on a farmstead near West Fargo, N.D. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of North Dakota and earned his Doctorate in Medicine at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. After medical school, he completed a Transitional Year Residency Program at the University of North Dakota/Meritcare (now Sanford) in Fargo, N.D.  He then entered his residency in Anesthesiology at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb.  For more advanced training, he transferred to the University of Florida Anesthesiology Residency Program. He then entered the Fellowship program in Pain Medicine at the University of Iowa School of Medicine in Iowa City, Iowa.

Dr. Thorson began his career in Interventional Pain Medicine at TRIA Orthopedic Center in Minneapolis. He opened Advanced Spine and Pain Clinics in 2012. He is board-certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine by the American Board of Anesthesiology.

Dr. Thorson is a member of the American Society of Anesthesiology; Minnesota Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, where he serves as secretary on the Board of Directors; Spine Intervention Society; American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians; North American Spine Society; and International Cellular Medicine Society. He and his colleagues are involved in cutting-edge Institutional Research Board-approved research: “Effectiveness of Human Amniotic Fluid Allograft for Low Back Pain.”

He has attended numerous conferences and courses on interventional pain medicine, ethical prescribing practices, minimally invasive spine procedures and regenerative medicine to keep up to date on the best information and technology for his patients. He has also spoken at several events on interventional pain issues, legislative issues and regenerative medicine.

Dr. Thorson has become one of the leading experts on the use of cellular therapies and regenerative medicine for the treatment of many chronic diseases and pain issues.

He enjoys traveling, spending time with his Silver Lab named Cash, boating, working out and golfing.

Mark A. Janiga, MD

Dr Janiga is an active member of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, American Society of Anesthesia, and International Spinal Intervention Society.

He is committed to providing patients the latest in diagnostic and therapeutic pain-relieving treatments. Prolotherapy is one of Dr. Janiga’s most relied-upon and favorite pain-relieving therapies for soft tissue/ligamentous/tendon problems. The sacroiliac (SI) joint, the low back, upper cervical (neck) pain and sports-related musculoskeletal pain are his special areas of interest.

Dr. Janiga spent most of his childhood in Andover, Minn., with his parents and four siblings. He enjoys skiing, golfing, camping and fishing – in general, enjoying nature and the outdoors!

Kristen Bleninger-Sundar, APRN, CNP; Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner

Medical Interests: Kristen has been a registered nurse since 2004. In 2011, she earned her master’s degree in nursing from Metropolitan State University and has been a nurse practitioner since 2011.  She has personal experience with how much chronic pain can touch every aspect of one’s life.  Her approach to practice is informed by her background in nursing.  She strives to understand her patients’ view of illness and disease and enjoys collaborating with patients to explore all options to alleviate chronic pain and promote general health.

Special interests: Diagnostic evaluation and treatment recommendation, IV therapies, medical cannabis, implanted devices, medication management.

Hobbies: Cooking, making jewelry, crocheting, knitting, spending time with husband and feline family.

Patrick W. Dixon, DNP, APNP

Doctor of Nursing Practice: Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 2016

Bachelor of Science Nursing: Viterbo University, La Crosse, Wis., 2010

Associate Degree Nursing: Rio Hondo College, Whittier, Calif., 1999

Medical Interests: Patrick has a strong interest in promoting wellness and disease prevention, as well as treating patients through the entire spectrum of illness to wellness. In addition to traditional medical services, Patrick is excited to offer functional medicine services such as peptide therapy, IV infusion and regenerative products (stem cell, exosome, PRP) to address pain, sleep, mood disorders, inflammatory conditions and weight management. We also offer entire functional medicine programs incorporating medical weight loss, bio-identical hormone replacement, body composition optimization, nutrition counseling and sleep evaluation.

Functional medicine is ideal for patients who are willing to make an investment in themselves to pursue wellness by optimizing the five pillars of health: Diet, Sleep, Activity, Nutrition and Hormones. A typical program lasts three months and involves functional lab studies, dietary counseling, medication management, exercise evaluation, and hormone optimization if needed. Patients typically move better, feel better, use fewer or no prescription medications, and have a greater sense of wellness. Incorporating aesthetics into a functional medicine program is a great way to look as well as you feel! We can add services such as the PRP (vampire) facial to any program.

Personal Interests: Spending time with family, golfing, biking, cooking and traveling.

Julie Meyer, MSN, FNP-BC

Julie Meyer, MSN, FNP-BC, is a Minnesota licensed nurse practitioner with a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, 2004. She is board-certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in 2000. She is an active member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Ms. Meyer has over 15 years of collective experience in chronic pain management, family practice, cardiology, and women’s health. She is a past nursing instructor and continues to precept and mentor new nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. She believes that building relationships with her patients, understanding their history and daily routines, leads to better outcomes and healthier communities. Her philosophy of care involves helping patients to be active and educated participants in their own healthcare management. She grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan near Lake Superior where she was a competitive figure skater. She enjoys cooking, traveling, and anything outdoors with family and friends.