Migraines, cluster headaches, face pain and related conditions can be debilitating, making performing the simplest daily tasks excruciating. We specialize in diagnosing and treating headaches and face pain so you can feel better faster.
It's not all in your head
If you have frequent headaches, you know they can be unpredictable, they can come on suddenly and feel like they will never go away. Wouldn't it be easier if you could anticipate, prevent and treat headaches before the pain becomes unbearable?
Culprits of headaches and face pain include:
- Drinking alcohol
- Smoking cigarettes
- Dental problems
- Hormonal changes
- Nerve pain
- Problems with blood vessels and blood flow
- Muscle pain in your jaw
- Reflux and other gastrointestinal conditions
Your primary care doctor can diagnose the cause of most headaches, but if an effective treatment cannot be found you will be referred to a brain specialist called a neurologist.
Do you often have headaches, migraines, or facial pain? It can be tough to deal with and can even prevent you from enjoying your daily activities. But don't worry, we're here to help! The first step in finding relief is to figure out what type of headache or face pain you have. We want to make sure you're aware of the different types of headaches and face pain:
- Chronic migraine: Involves headaches on a daily or near-daily basis, with severe migraine headaches at least weekly. Most patients we see have this condition.
- Episodic migraine: Involves severe migraine headaches at least two or three times a month.
- Cluster headache: This is a painful but rare condition type of headache. Attacks can occur daily (often several times per day) over several weeks and do not return for many months.
- Chronic face pain: Usually originates in the jaw muscles (such as temporomandibular disorder) but may also be caused by nerve, nose or sinus conditions.
Pinpointing the cause of your migraines and face pain can be tricky and take time. During your first visit, your doctor will take the time to review your family and medical history, symptoms and patterns of recurring headaches and triggers. Several tests can help us zero in on the exact cause of your pain, including:
Once we identify your headache or face pain type, we can focus on treating the root cause and symptoms. Our goal is to reduce, relieve and prevent your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Chronic migraines are treated with medication and physical therapy to loosen tightness in your shoulder and neck muscles. We may also use a long-acting muscle relaxant like Botox.
Our goal in treating an episodic migraine is to relieve your headache quickly. Once the headache subsides, we'll prescribe a medication that prevents and reduces headaches.
We treat cluster headaches aggressively to counter your severe pain. Immediate treatments include migraine medication and oxygen. We'll prescribe a medication known as calcium-entry blockers to prevent future attacks.
If the muscles of your face are causing pain, we will typically recommend you visit your dentist for a mouth guard combined with physical therapy. We may also work with our orofacial pain experts at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.