Brain & Spine Center

Headache Program

The Pediatric Comprehensive Headache Program was established in 2015. We care for patients up to age 18. The program has doctors and advanced care providers that specialize in headache treatment as well as a psychologist and nurse educator. Patients can be referred to the clinic by their primary care provider.

How Many Children Get Headaches?

Many of us think of headaches as an adult problem, but children can get headaches and chronic headaches too.

  • About 20 percent of 5-year-olds get occasional headaches.
  • About 75 percent of teenagers get headaches.

Can a Child Suffer from Migraines?

Many people assume that migraines only happen during adulthood. But children as young as 6 can have migraines. In fact:

  • About one in 50 (or two percent) of 7-year-olds get migraines
  • About one in 20 (or five percent) of 15-year-olds get migraines
Many parents don't realize their young children are suffering from migraines. That's because children younger than 7 years old may not be able to describe the symptoms of a migraine clearly.

What to Expect

The Pediatric Comprehensive Headache Program treats children with tension headaches, cluster headaches, and migraines. Treatment depends on each child, but common recommendations include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), biofeedback, pain coping education, and lifestyle changes.

Headache Prevention

We often have a long waiting list for the Headache Clinic. To help manage headaches while you wait to see a doctor, work with your primary care physician, and begin to employ as many of the SMART lifestyle changes discussed above as possible.

The patient's primary care provider is welcome to call pediatric neurology for advice at any time.

What Sets Us Apart

All children with headaches can be seen by general neurologists, but what sets the Pediatric Comprehensive Headache Program apart is that it allows your child to be seen by a neurologist that specializes in headaches, a psychologist, and a headache nurse. We provide up-to-date education for new headache patients. From experience, we know that patients who are able to maintain their usual daily activities do better overall. Our goal is to help children and parents understand the medical and behavioral parts of headache care to live their life to the fullest.