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Headache and facial pain

About 28 million people suffer from migraines, which are recurring headaches that throb or pulse, often on one side of your head. Migraines can cause nausea and light sensitivity, and they tend to worsen with activity. At Geisinger, we treat migraines, tension headaches and other types of debilitating headaches and facial pain.

Headaches or facial pain can make every day hard and keep you from living your fullest life. Our headache specialists aim to return people to doing the things they love, without the constant worry about when the next headache will come. 


What you should know about headaches and facial pain 

  • Migraines are three times more common in women than men. There is also a genetic component doctors are just beginning to understand.  
  • Conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia (also called tic douloureux), cause sudden, sharp pain around the face. It may last a few seconds, or a few minutes, and attacks can happen back-to-back. In some people, the pain is more constant. 


Why choose Geisinger for the care of headaches and facial pain?  

  • Latest treatments for migraines and other headaches: There has been great advancement in medications to treat migraines, and our headache specialists are at the forefront of prescribing these new drugs. Treatments include: 
    • Aimovig™: This is the newest FDA-approved drug to treat chronic migraine. 
    • Botox® for migraines: Botox has been FDA-approved to treat migraines, and in two large clinical trials, is shown to be effective. The treatment is not the same as Botox Cosmetic. Botox for migraines is indicated for people with severe migraines, who suffer from headaches for more than 15 days out of a month, for three months. 
    • Nerve blocks for occipital neuralgia: Occipital neuralgia causes sudden and severe pain in the back of the head. It can also cause a dull ache. Patients often don’t get the right diagnosis and suffer from this pain for years. We are able to provide nerve blocks that greatly reduce the pain. 
    • Trigger point injections: Some types of headaches respond to injections of steroids or numbing medication at the trigger point (the place where it hurts). These injections are among the many effective treatment options available to patients to alleviate pain. 
  • Treatments for facial pain: Though facial pain is not as common as headache pain, it can be just as severe in how it reduces someone’s quality of life. Our headache specialists can help create an individualized plan to help treat your specific pain symptoms.  
  • Short waiting time to see a specialist: We work to see patients quickly. Once your evaluation is completed, we are typically able to start treatment within 10 days to 2 weeks. When suffering from chronic headaches or facial pain, every day matters. We encourage patients to contact us sooner rather than later. Chances are if headaches interfere with your quality of life, there is something we can do to help.

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