Headaches are relatively common in children and teens, and headaches that impact school attendance and daily life can be a source of concern for both the child and family. Nicklaus Children’s Headache Program, part of the hospital’s Brain Institute, offers a comprehensive, team approach to the evaluation and management of pediatric and adolescent patients with headaches.
A Multidisciplinary Approach
The program team is led by a pediatric neurologist with specialized fellowship training and extensive experience in treating children and adolescents with headaches. Psychologists collaborate to offer behavioral techniques to support care management.
- New daily persistent headache
- Pseudotumor cerebri (Idiopathic Intracranial hypertension)
- Hemiplegic migraine
- Migraine with brainstem aura
- Occipital neuralgia
- Cervicogenic headache
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Cyclical vomiting syndrome
- Abdominal migraine
- Benign paroxysmal vertigo
- Benign paroxysmal torticollis
- Hemicrania continua
- Paroxysmal hemicrania
- Cluster headache
- Short lasting unilateral neuralgiform headaches (SUNCT, SUNA)
- Primary cough headache
- Primary exercise headache
Who is a Candidate for the Headache Program?
Program candidates include any child or teen who:
- Has headaches that occur on a consistent basis
- Has headaches that result in missed school days or other activities
- Has headaches that cause concern for the patient, parents, or primary care physician in any way
What Should I Expect?
At the initial visit, you will complete a detailed questionnaire pertaining to the patient's headaches and medical and social history. You will be seen by the neurologist or nurse practitioner, and in many cases by the psychologist. Testing may be ordered when appropriate. The team will work with you to develop and detailed treatment plan to implement both at home and at school.
Additionally, there may be opportunities for your child to participate in clinical trials for new and emerging headache treatments. These opportunities will be offered as they arise.
Approaches to Treatment
Following a comprehensive patient workup, the team uses a tailored approach combining various treatment options to attempt to decrease both headache frequency and headache related disability. Treatment options include but are not limited to:
- Preventive prescription medications
- Preventive nutraceuticals
- Acute treatments, which may include both over the counter and prescription medications
- Guidance for lifestyle change
- Referral for behavioral therapy
- Neuromodulation devices
- Procedures, for example:
- botox injections
- peripheral nerve blocks
- sphenopalatine ganglion blocks
- trigger point injections