Understanding Childhood Headaches

Most children who are referred to a headache center have primary headache disorders. This means the headache is not caused by another medical problem. Our headache specialists will obtain a medical history and perform a comprehensive neurological examination to determine if the headaches are being caused by another medical problem. If there is concern of a secondary headache based on history or examination, laboratory testing or imaging studies may be required. However, most headaches do not require any diagnostic testing.

All headache disorders can benefit from healthy habits. There are many different treatments for different types of headache disorders, but nearly all of them can benefit from healthy habits. Our headache specialists emphasize the importance of healthy habits and will make suggestions to provide relief.

Treating headaches can take time. Medications and lifestyle modifications rarely lead to immediate relief from headaches. While it may be frustrating at first, your patience and communication will give our team the best chance of finding a solution to your child’s headaches.

Headaches can be a chronic condition. Our goal is to reduce the pain and frequency of headaches as much as possible; however, headaches can be a chronic illness just like other medical problems, such as diabetes or asthma. In these cases, it is often helpful for patients and their families to speak with a mental health professional to learn how to cope with a chronic medical problem like headaches.

Important Healthy Habits

  •  Create a healthy sleep routine
  •  Stay hydrated
  •  Limit caffeine
  •  Exercise and maintain a healthy weight
  •  Eat healthy, regular meals
  •  Work toward a balanced mood