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UPMC Headache Center

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At the UPMC Headache Center, we understand that painful, frequent headaches can negatively impact your quality of life. That’s why our headache specialists work with each patient to provide an accurate diagnosis, along with a personalized treatment plan. Every neurologist at the UPMC Headache Center has received sub-specialty training and is board-certified in Headache Medicine, giving our patients access to the latest findings and most advanced and effective treatments for all types of headaches.

Types of Headaches We Treat

At the UPMC Headache Center, we treat all types of headaches, including those that are the result of another medical condition. Among the most common headaches we treat are:


Migraines are a type of moderate to severe recurrent headache with throbbing or pulsating pain on one or both sides of the head. Migraines are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, or smells.

Some people experience visual disturbances (auras) or other sensory symptoms prior to the headache. Many patients have migraine “triggers” that are likely to start an episode. These may include certain foods or beverages, bright or flashing lights, strong scents, and changes to sleep patterns. Menstrual migraines occur around the time of a woman’s menstrual period, and are linked to the monthly fluctuation in the hormone estrogen. Migraines are more common in women than in men.

Cluster Headaches:

Cluster headaches are severe, stabbing headaches that occur in a series or “cluster” and frequently include pain and other symptoms around the eye. Cluster headaches are limited to one side of the head. They often start during sleep, and may recur at the same time of day over a period of time. Cluster headaches are more common in men than in women

Sinus Headaches:

Sinus headaches include headache, face pain, and nasal drainage. True sinus headaches are actually uncommon, and are the result of a prior sinus infection. More often, a “sinus” headache is actually a migraine or tension headache.

Tension Headaches:

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache and are generally the easiest to manage. Tension headaches are often described as a tight band around the head, and may be mild to moderate in intensity. Tension headaches are more common in women than in men.

Specialty Care for Headaches

Each month, nearly 1,200 patients are seen at the UPMC Headache Center for headache diagnosis and management. Personalized care plans are developed to reduce headache frequency and reduce the length and severity of headaches that do occur. In addition to prescription medications, our experts also may recommend lifestyle and nutrition changes, supplements, and innovative injectable therapies, including administration of botulinum toxin (Botox®) injections, and pericranial nerve blocks.

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