Headaches can be related to family history, diet, dental or jaw problems, neck and shoulder mechanics, trauma, other medical problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes, social stressors and lifestyle, inadequate sleep, neurochemical imbalance, medication overuse and many other factors.
Most treatments for headaches only address a single cause of the headache, while ignoring other possible causes. Even worse, some treatments are directed only at symptom relief without addressing any underlying factors. This leads to temporary relief and headaches that continue to recur.
Our clinical model is unique because we combine the health expertise of providers from many specialties and through coordinated care, we are able to simultaneously address ALL the causes of your headache.
We focus both on long term prevention of headaches as well as immediate pain relief for severe acute headaches. Through teamwork and comprehensive care, we will work together to treat the cause and find a cure.
Your initial evaluation will take about an hour. During this time, we will discuss your complete medical, social, and family history and as well as thoroughly discuss the nature of your headaches. During the initial evaluation, we will also review any past treatments you have tried and reasons why they were unsuccessful.
After your interview, we will perform a complete physical examination, focusing on your neurologic and musculoskeletal systems. Then, we will review any neuroimaging you may have had and order any necessary further testing you may need.
At the end of your initial evaluation, a physician will sit down with you to discuss all possible causes for your headaches and will develop a treatment plan for you. You will receive a folder containing detailed explanations of each part of your treatment plan and will be scheduled for follow up visits accordingly.
Acute Therapies as needed
You may find that either at your initial visit or later during the course of your treatment, you may have days when your headache pain is severe. Rather than suffering in silence at home or waiting in a crowded, noisy emergency room, we can provide you the option of receiving IV fluids, as well as intravenous and injectable headache medications in the comfort of our private infusion suite.
Our suite is furnished with a comfortable reclining infusion chair, dimmed lighting, and seating for guests who are accompanying you. You will be able to receive non-narcotic medications while resting quietly and being monitored intermittently by a physician.
These therapies are exclusively available to our established patients and also to new patients who are directly referred over by their primary physician. Simply call us anytime for a same day appointment; we will do our best to accommodate your request to be seen within 24 hours. *
Procedures in Headache Medicine
Many patients are unaware that numerous minimally invasive office procedures that are available in the treatment of headaches. Procedures such as trigger point injections, occipital nerve blocks and botox injections are commonly used in both the acute and chronic treatment of headaches.
Procedures can be used to stop a severe headache immediately or to prevent the recurrence of headaches long-term. All headache medicine procedures available at Horizon Headache Center are performed in the office in conjunction with a regular office visit.
These procedures are very low risk and simple (most patients attest that they are easier than to getting a cavity filled at the dentist or a mole removed in an outpatient setting). Many patients who have failed numerous medications often respond very well to procedures for headaches and procedures provide a great option for patients in the care of headaches.
Headache sufferers often describe a unique feeling of fatigue: reporting that their head is too heavy to hold up or that they have to lie down to feel better. This is because over time pain weakens head and neck muscles so much that they are unable to adequately perform their job of holding the head upright for all needed daily activities.
At Horizon Headache Center, we have a massage therapist and personal trainer on site who will perform a complete evaluation of the muscles of the head and neck.
Afterwards, they will design an individualized program for pain relief and strengthening. Most patients notice a dramatic improvement within just the first few weeks.
Headache and Sleep Health Psychology
Many social factors contribute to headaches. In fact, stress has been found to be the most significant trigger for many types of headaches. We will perform a comprehensive evaluation of your mental health and mood, sleep quality, current stressors, and other lifestyle factors that contribute to pain.
We can address and manage through medications and behavioral headache therapy any factors that are preventing your well-being. Our wide range of behavioral health services include relaxation training, stress management, insomnia treatment, and both thermal and EMG biofeedback.
Orofacial Pain and TMJ Evaluation
It may be determined at your initial evaluation that problems in your jaw, teeth or facial structure are contributing causes to your headache pain. It is very common that headaches can be caused by improper jaw occlusion, trigger points in facial or chewing muscles, or other dental issues.
Despite the common nature of these problems, many are overlooked by other medical professionals and even by patients themselves. We will perform an orofacial and TMJ evaluation to determine which issues you may have and what interventions you may need.
*We encourage our patients to review our patient education brochure entitled “A patient’s guide to severe headaches,” found in Patient tools. It helps patients to exercise sound decision making about when it is more appropriate to go to the emergency room than to wait for outpatient treatment. If you are ever unsure, it is always safer to go to the emergency room as outpatient services will never be as comprehensive as emergency room services.