Nels L. Carlson M.D.

Photo of Nels L. Carlson, M.D.
Faculty profile

Associate Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation School of Medicine

Accepting new patients

4.8 out of 5 (261 Ratings, 90 Comments)


  • Orthopaedics and rehabilitation

Special focus on

  • Electromyography
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Spine
  • Sports Medicine


  • M.D., Oregon Health & Science University, Portland Oregon 1992
  • Residency:

    • Harvard Medical School-Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston
  • Fellowship:

    • Neurophysiology-Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston
  • Certifications:

    • American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 1998, 2008


Dr. Carlson is an associate professor with the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation. His primary clinical interests are conservative spine care, sports injuries and electrodiagnostics.


  • English

Patient Ratings

4.8 out of 5 (261 Ratings, 90 Comments)

The patient ratings score is an average of all responses to the question "How likely would you be to recommend this provider to your family and friends (on a scale of 0 to 10)" on our nationally-recognized NRC patient surveys.

Patient Comments

  • Jun 19, 2019

    Wait nearly one hour. Felt like doctor was rushed.

  • Jun 13, 2019

    Dr. Carlson is always friendly caring and compassionate.

  • Jun 13, 2019

    He was helpful & open-minded. Ready to problem solve.

  • Jun 12, 2019

    Timely, professional, took the time to explain everything that was going to happen, friendly, compassionate, etc... Very impressed.

  • Jun 12, 2019

    thorough, knowledgeable, considerate and experienced

  • Jun 06, 2019

    Dr. Nels Carlson is kind, smart, and always listens to me. I just wish all of my other Dr's. provided me with this type of quality care. He is awesome!

  • Jun 05, 2019

    My apt was 45 minutes late, but the doctor was amazing and very comfortable to be around.

  • Jun 02, 2019

    I'm very pleased with the doctor and I think he listens to me and understands what I need and and I would recommend him highly.

  • May 31, 2019

    Listens and gives you an opportunity to ask questions

  • May 31, 2019

    A little confusing. It was a quick 10 minutes. The NP looked at the same x’ray and told me the facet joints had severe arthritis so he ordered an injection in the “sacrum joint” which I had. Now Dr. Nel’s wants me to have a new steroid injection in the facets joints. I am just a patient and confused? Are the facet joints different than the sacrum joint? Anyway, I got no relief from the injection in the sacrum joint. Are they different? I knew when they put the bandaid on me after the injection it seemed not in the area of my pain?

  • May 23, 2019

    The Doctor and all the staff in that medical facility are amazing, and seem to care about you

  • May 23, 2019

    Dr Carlsson was very professional and thorough. He explained things clearlyand helped me be at ease. I look forward to seeing what we can do togetherto help with my chronic back pain.

  • May 18, 2019

    Dr. Nelson is a superb podiatrist who has helped me greatly in understanding my problem and advising me about the best way to approach it in the future and offering me feedback at any point in time when I have questions. I couldn't imagine a more helpful evaluation and response and evaluation in recommendations. Thank you.

  • May 16, 2019

    Dr. Carlson always takes the time to listen and answer as many questions as I have. Even with a non-serious chronic condition like mine, he moves forward with a treatment plan only after ordering tests to rule out more serious issues. I appreciate his respect for his patients.

  • May 09, 2019

    He listens and is very clear in his explanations.

  • May 01, 2019

    This was not my first time having an EMG, but Dr. Carlson made the experience much more pleasant than my first time. He thoroughly explained everything he was doing along the way and was very personable. He even provided me some preliminary results before the appointment ended. Overall, I'm very appreciate of the care I received. Thank you!

  • May 01, 2019

    He seems very knowledgeable, and he really wanted to take care of my problem.

  • May 01, 2019

    He was very friendly and very nice and made me feel very comfortable, answered all my questions correctly. I would recommend him to whoever or any family member or friend.

  • Apr 30, 2019

    Excellent. Talked to me and listened. Third doctor I've seen about my hip and back - first one that wanted to address both. Others wnted to address the hip and then the back later.

  • Apr 24, 2019

    Very helpful, I felt he really cared about my problem and will try to get me some relief.

  • Apr 20, 2019

    Dr. Carlson is the best of the best, knowledgeable empathetic... takes patient input of signs and symptoms... and... participates in... allows the patient to participate in, kind of a collaborative diagnosis. Even when things are very complicated and, and leaves with a plan of action, a, a visit summary... I couldn't be happier he, he's very very good. Thank you.

  • Apr 05, 2019

    Dr Carlson was very congenial, informative and thorough addressing my current symptoms and treatment options.

  • Apr 03, 2019

    For me the visit was excellent, a 10. I give a 10. Everyone was in agreement like I expected and it was very good. Thanks.

  • Mar 22, 2019

    I thought Dr. Carlson was extremely thorough is examination spoken plain language English gave me my options. Listen well and provide provide excellent feedback on options and Alternatives in terms of my current condition. I highly recommend him and think he's an excellent physician.

  • Mar 21, 2019

    Everything went as scheduled even though I waited longer than planned.

  • Mar 21, 2019

    I was quite pleased with the information I received.

  • Mar 10, 2019

    He listened so carefully to understand the underlying issues related to my injury, and seemed extremely knowledgeable regarding solutions. Seems he wants to improve my quality of life, and not just address the current injury.

  • Mar 07, 2019

    Dr. Nels Carlson listened carefully to my concerns and offered clear, concrete advice and guidance. He didn’t hurry through the exam and left me with the sense I was in the hands of a learned, compassionate healer.

  • Feb 05, 2019

    Dr. Carlson is great. I feel well supported and taken care of under his care.

  • Feb 03, 2019

    He is a great doctor. He listens and is easy to communicate with

  • Feb 02, 2019

    Believe Dr. Carlson is over booked. I had to wait for lot about an hour and a half before I got to see him and it seems to be this is the case often for him. You don't have enough providers is what it looks like in menu over booked them. Thank you.

  • Jan 26, 2019

    Dr. Carlson is the best. He is awesome at explaining things. He has great ideas for solutions to problems and I would totally recommend him anybody that needed that kind of treatment.

  • Jan 26, 2019

    He explains things very thoroughly is levelheaded and concerned.

  • Jan 19, 2019

    This provider was very caring and thoughtful and spent a lot of time with me going over my concerns and also seemed very well prepared for my visit. He had read up on my chart before he came into the room.

  • Jan 07, 2019

    I was so frustrated with my bursitis and the pain that I was having in my hip and Dr. Carlson persisted until he was able to resolve it with a cortisone shot in my hip and I really appreciated his ability to listen to me and take care of the problem.

  • Dec 20, 2018

    Very kind and personal. Really listened to me and explained why he was suggesting the surgery that was right for me.

  • Dec 14, 2018

    Dr. Carlson is thorough, he listens very well and he provides very good advice.

  • Dec 14, 2018

    Very positive. Reviewed my issues and answered all my questions.

  • Dec 14, 2018

    Dr. Carlson is an awesome doctor. I know I am in good hands with him.

  • Dec 13, 2018

    Pleasant with a knowledgeable approach. Easy to talk to and communicate with.

  • Dec 07, 2018

    The visit was excellent. The physician is professional, and does a great job explaining the problem or issue, and has a great background knowledge and expertise in treating patients.

  • Dec 07, 2018

    Dr. Carlson is an excellent doctor. Very helpful and encouraging. I always have a good experience with my visits to his office.

  • Dec 06, 2018

    I just thought the Dr. Carlson was extraordinary and I have another appointment with him and I just think he's an outstanding doctor. So I have the highest praise for Dr. Carlson, and my name is Thank you. bye.

  • Nov 29, 2018

    Dr. Nels Carlson is a phenomenal doctor! He has a great way of explaining the assessment of my situation, the overall scope of recovery, and answers in clear terms any questions I may have. I asked him to be my point of contact during my surgery recovery because the other doctor had extremely poor communication skills and vague answers.

  • Nov 29, 2018

    Dr. Nels Carlson has been working with me for many years. He is consistently the most knowledgeable and effective doctor I have ever met.

  • Nov 29, 2018

    Dr. Carlson gave a very clear and discerning diagnosis. I thought I had tendonitis and he said after looking at an x-ray that it was actually arthritis. They gave me very clear instructions how to go about working on healing the problem.

  • Nov 23, 2018

    Dr. Carlson is not rushed, he is calm, and he explains complex concepts well.

  • Nov 16, 2018

    Dr. Carlson has been extremely helpful. He always has wonderful suggestions and he spends time with me and really goes into my problems and issues with my back.

  • Nov 16, 2018

    Yeah, this is [Name]. I was impressed with Dr. Carlson. I think that's his name. Anyway, he was cordial, a little bit late., but, you know, that's the real world there. That's not a complaint. He got my name right, my last name, it's a little tricky. I was quite impressed with that. He was very direct, told me a lot of things that put me at ease actually, you know, feels like he's working with you. I don't know what else to say. I was impressed with him. I'd be glad to see him again.

  • Nov 12, 2018

    Dr. Nels Carlson is a kind, gentle spoken physician who genuinely seems to care about his patients.