Headaches & Migraines

Houston Methodist is committed to providing advanced, personalized care to help headache and migraine patients get back to a life without pain. Our world-class team of specialists provides comprehensive care that starts with an accurate diagnosis and a unique treatment plan to help alleviate and prevent headaches and migraines.  

Our team of headache and migraine specialists includes neurologists, nurse practitioners and headache treatment coordinators, each of whom brings years of training and experience to the diagnosis and treatment of all types of headaches and migraines.

Hear one of our neurologists discuss what can trigger migraines and what you can do to minimize occurrences. Learn more.  

Headache or Migraine Symptoms

Headaches are characterized by dull, aching pain that may be felt across the forehead, behind the eyes or on the sides or back of the head. A migraine is a specific type of headache that may include additional symptoms such as extreme sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and/or vomiting and throbbing pain particularly on one side of the head.
Our specialists assess each patient's symptoms to diagnose specific types of headache or migraine and create a plan for the appropriate treatment.

Types of Headaches and Migraines

Tension Headache
A headache might be due to tension if the pain is dull and achy. Tension headaches are also usually accompanied by a sore neck and can often be treated with over-the-counter pain medications.

A migraine is characterized by throbbing, severe pain that lasts from 4 to 72 hours (3 days). Nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound can also accompany the pain. Migraines may be preceded by what is called a migraine aura (visual or other symptoms associated with a migraine coming on). If the symptoms of a migraine present, the best course of action is to rest or try to sleep in a quiet, dark room. A hot or cold compress on the forehead can also help. If these do not work, a migraine specialist can recommend other non-drug therapies or prescription medications.

Chronic Headache
Headaches that occur on more than 14 days in a month can be a sign of chronic headaches. They can feel moderate to severe — and may be a sign of an underlying condition.

Rebound Headache
Unfortunately, sometimes a medication that helps headaches can make them worse. If a patient takes a pain medication for headaches often and the headache returns, he or she might be experiencing a rebound headache. The only way to stop the cycle of rebound headaches is to discontinue the use of that particular medication.

Cluster Headache
A cluster headache is a rare condition that affects less than 1 percent of adults. It is characterized by a sharp, severe pain that is often only on one side of the head. It is very painful, but lasts a short time — usually about 45 to 90 minutes.

Diagnosis of Headaches and Migraines

The specialists at Houston Methodist perform the most up-to-date diagnostic procedures — including MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computed tomography) and ultrasound scans — at facilities of Houston Methodist. 

Treatment Options for  Headaches and Migraines

Treatment is available for patients with all types of headaches and migraines. We offer a complete range of treatment options customized to each patient:
  • Lifestyle and dietary counseling
  • Stress management
  • Medication management
  • Infusion therapy
  • Treatment with botulinum toxin, also known as Botox® treatment
  • PFO (patent foramen ovale) assessment in migraine patients for this congenital disorder

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