Treating Headaches

We know that living with regular headaches can be frustrating and dispiriting, especially if they keep you from work or everyday activities. At Providence, our specialists take a holistic approach to helping you prevent and control your pain, so you can get back to doing the activities you love.

Why Choose Us for Your Headache Care?

Have you forgotten what life without headaches feels like? Whether you have chronic migraines, tension headaches, trigeminal neuralgia or atypical facial pain, Providence has the effective and compassionate care you need to manage your condition and feel better.

A headache refers to any pain above the neck. This means a headache could be caused by a wide range of conditions, from the common cold to a concussion. Less frequently, more serious conditions like an aneurysm can be the cause. That’s why it’s critical to get the right diagnosis and receive effective care. At Providence, we don’t just treat your headache. We look at potential underlying neurological causes, so we can create a personalized plan to treat the root of your head pain and help you control it.

Our board-certified headache specialists work closely with nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers and case managers who specialize in headache management. Together, they diagnose and treat your headache. Depending on the type and severity of your head pain, your care team may also include board-certified general neurologists, radiologists, neurosurgeons and pain specialists. In many of our locations, these clinicians are all under one roof, making it convenient to get the headache relief you need.

With many headache treatment options available, you don’t need to live with pain. Lifestyle changes to avoid common headache triggers such as stress, along with proper hydration and adequate sleep, can be effective for some patients. For others,  prescription medications or injections such as Botox, nerve blocks and the new CGRP inhibitors may be necessary to relieve pain. And for some, surgery or radiation therapy is required. At Providence, we offer all of these options, and we help you find the right one for you.

At Providence, we are committed to providing access to the best headache care across our diverse community. We respect and support the racial, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual and spiritual identities of our patients. We offer location-specific translation services for non-English-speaking patients and help with transportation. And, in keeping with our Mission, Providence offers financial assistance programs that provide free and low-cost care to those who are eligible.

As a patient at Providence, you benefit from one of the largest networks of neuroscience experts in the country. We have award-winning physicians, including renowned headache specialists, scientists and researchers across 51 hospitals in seven states. Our network is one of the reasons we care for patients with headaches through more than 4,500 appointments every year.

Our Commitment to Care

“Often, people who suffer from migraines or severe headaches think there isn’t any relief available. But there is. A headache specialist will help you look at the whole picture. We’ll get familiar with your symptoms and your goals and your daily life. Then we’ll create a plan that will help you feel better.”

H. Alexander Krob, M.D. - Neurologist

More About Headaches

Headaches are feelings of pain or discomfort in your head, face or ears. They can make it hard to concentrate or enjoy activities. Most of the time, they go away on their own or with simple remedies like rest and drinking water. However, you should seek immediate medical care if you experience:

  • A recent change in the intensity or frequency of your headaches
  • New daily, persistent headaches
  • New headaches after age 50
  • Symptoms such as fever and weight loss

Types of headaches we treat

  • Atypical facial pain
  • Chiari malformation
  • Cluster headaches
  • Intracranial hypertension
  • Migraines
  • New daily, persistent headaches
  • Tension headaches
  • Trigeminal neuralgia

Testing and Diagnostics

Doctor and nurse with patient appointment

Most headaches are diagnosed through clinical criteria. This involves matching your symptoms to medical headache standards. In some cases, your neurological team may need advanced brain imaging to make a diagnosis. Our headache diagnostic methods include:

  • Blood test
  • Clinical characteristics
  • Computerized tomography angiogram (CTA)
  • Magnetic resonance venography (MRV)
  • MRI

Personalized Treatment for Headaches

No two patients are the same. This is why your care team works with you to create a treatment plan based specifically on the type and frequency of your headaches. Treatment may include one or more of the following:

  • Lifestyle changes such as regular sleep, hydration and exercise
  • Natural remedies such as avoiding certain foods and other headache triggers
  • Prescription pain medication, which should not be taken more than eight to 10 times per month
  • Preventive treatment, such as weight loss and surgical management

Find Neurological Care Close to You

Meet the Team

At Providence, you'll have access to a vast network of dedicated and compassionate providers who offer personalized care by focusing on treatment, prevention and health education.