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Addressing Pain: JFK Headache Center Provides Comprehensive Approach to Treating Headaches

Headaches are a common complaint in our daily lives.  Yet, "common" does not necessarily make them "simple." While a headache can be a result of a non-emergency condition like allergies and sinusitis, the truth is that headaches can be a significant health concern.  There are more patients with headaches than any other neurological issue – including stroke.  Further, many of these headaches can be debilitating.

For example, one condition known as "refractory migraine headaches" are migraine headaches that resist conventional treatment.  Normal migraine therapies do not give the patient relief from refractory migraines, and these migraines persist despite preventative therapies.  Refractory migraines significantly impact a patients' daily functioning and, ultimately, their quality of life.  What is more, there has been an alarming rise in the incidence of these refractory migraines in recent years.

The sources of headaches range from the after-effects of accidents, to insomnia, to over-use of medications, to incorrect medications, depression and anxiety, or stress at work or home.  Other causes of headache – such as those involving stroke, infection, or inflammatory disorders – require immediate evaluation and emergency treatment. To address the upsurge of headaches in our community, as well as the diversity of causes of headaches, JFK Medical Center established a full-service Headache Center.

The Headache Center tackles the diversified origins of headaches by developing comprehensive evaluation and management strategies, attacking the specific condition from every angle.  Through intensive collaboration with the JFK Concussion Program at the JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, and drawing on the renowned resources of rehabilitation medicine, physical therapy, psychology, sleep medicine and neurosurgery departments, the Headache Center crafts a tailored and complete treatment approach to address persistent headaches, regardless of their cause.  These treatments may include psychological counseling, sleep evaluation, re-alignment of medications, and consistent follow-up, including such techniques as headache diaries.

"Our holistic approach to headaches makes our Center a one-of-a-kind offering in a large community hospital in New Jersey," says Gary Miller, MD, director of the JFK Headache Center.  "The need is clearly there in our community, as we have seen from the steady growth in patients since we opened the Center.  Today, we're pleased that we can treat virtually any headache issue that might arise in our community."