Our migraine specialists provide comprehensive, coordinated migraine care with your well-being in mind.
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Why choose UCLA Health for migraine care?
We offer state-of-the-art, collaborative care for migraines and headaches through the UCLA Goldberg Migraine Program. Our specialists research the latest treatment options and use advanced therapies to treat all types of headaches.
Highlights of our program include:
- Research focus: Our program is dedicated to finding and implementing novel migraine treatments. We use various techniques to learn more about what causes migraines and how best to treat them. Many of our patients qualify for clinical trials, where they have access to new treatment options.
- Education: Our specialists are leaders in migraine treatment. We train medical and graduate students, residents, fellows and physician colleagues in migraine care best practices.
- Emphasis on wellness: We partner with you to ensure you have an active role in your treatment plan. Our goal is to arm you with the tools to live your healthiest life long-term, from learning about migraine triggers to making lifestyle changes.
Our headache specialists care for patients with all types of headaches or migraines. Our program focuses on two key areas:
- Patient care: Our specialists use neurological testing, scans, blood tests and other evaluations to diagnose headache disorders. We provide treatments to stop headaches when they occur, as well as to prevent headaches from recurring.
- Research: Our researchers use a variety of techniques to discover more about the causes of headaches, identify new treatments and deliver these treatments to patients. Eligible patients may benefit from access to new treatments through clinical trials.
Conditions we treat
Nearly everyone has experienced a headache at some point. Headaches refer to pain or discomfort in the head or face. When headaches occur frequently or at a high intensity, it could point to a headache disorder. Headaches can be:
- Primary, when the headache itself is the problem and there’s no underlying condition
- Secondary, when there’s an underlying problem, such as a neck injury or infection, that causes the headache
Common headache types include:
- Cluster headaches: This type of headache usually occurs on one side of the head. Cluster headaches can cause eye redness, eyelid swelling or congestion. Symptoms typically occur in a series of headaches that lasts for weeks or months.
- Migraines: Migraine symptoms can include headache pain, sensitivity to light, nausea or lightheadedness. Many people with migraines have aura symptoms, such as numbness, speech changes, muscle weakness or vision changes.
- Post-traumatic headaches: These headaches occur after an injury, usually within seven days or less. Post-traumatic headaches can be a symptom of a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- Sinus headaches: Sinus headaches may feel like throbbing in the cheekbones, forehead or behind the nose. The pain is concentrated around the front of the face where the sinuses are located. Most often, sinus headaches are a symptom of a sinus infection (sinusitis).
- Tension headaches: This is the most common type of headache. Tight muscles and stress can cause these headaches. Tension headaches usually lead to dull or moderate pain that affects the whole head.
- Trigeminal neuralgia: This chronic pain condition occurs when the trigeminal nerve is compressed. This nerve has three branches that run from the ear to the eye and forehead area, the cheek and nostril area, and the lower jaw. Trigeminal neuralgia typically affects one side of the face. It often feels like sharp, shooting pain, but it may also cause throbbing, headache-like symptoms.
Headache treatments we offer
Our migraine specialists use a team approach to provide effective, comprehensive care. We work with you to create a plan that works for your lifestyle, individual needs and preferences. Treatment may include:
- Trigger identification: Recording migraine symptoms can help you identify migraine triggers. Migraine triggers are behaviors or environmental factors that often lead to a migraine, such as eating certain foods or not getting enough sleep. Avoiding migraine triggers can help you reduce how often you get migraines.
- Lifestyle changes: Some people find that a healthier lifestyle may reduce migraine frequency. A nutritious diet, regular exercise, stress reduction and high-quality sleep can all improve your overall health and well-being.
- Medications: Abortive medicines can help stop the progression of migraine symptoms. Preventive medications can decrease the frequency and intensity of migraines. You may need to try different medicines to find the ones that work best for you.
- Injections: Injections of certain medications may treat migraine or headache symptoms. You may receive injections in a medical office or administer them at home every 30 to 90 days.
- Stimulation devices: These devices work by sending small electrical pulses to specific nerves. Stimulation devices often send these pulses consistently to reduce the frequency of migraines. You may also control the devices yourself, sending electric pulses at specific times prescribed by a neurologist.