Headache Program | Multi-disciplinary Headache Clinic

Acupuncture at Boston Children's HospitalIn children with chronic, hard-to-manage headaches, the pain can significantly impact all aspects of life, including school performance, social activities, sleep, mood, appetite, and family interactions. For many of these patients, an evaluation at our multi-disciplinary headache clinic at Boston Children’s at Waltham—a collaboration between the Departments of Neurology and Anesthesia may be appropriate.

When children come to the clinic, they are evaluated by both a neurologist and a psychologist who specialize in complex headache management. The first appointment takes approximately two to three hours, because each member of the team spends the time necessary to talk with you and your child in depth so we can better understand your child’s condition and potential pain triggers. If relevant and available, we also review previous medical records and images. 

Our approach includes prescribing appropriate medications and supplements, as well as a number of non-drug treatments that are known to be effective. The use of the non-medication therapies allows us to address more aspects of your child’s condition. Therapies we may recommend include:

  • biofeedback, performed in the community or by our psychologists at the headache clinic

  • relaxation therapies such as Reiki

  • cognitive-behavioral therapy

  • physical therapy

  • acupuncture, performed in the community, or by our colleagues in the Medical Acupuncture Service

We understand that for families not living in the Boston area, travel time may be a significant limiting factor. Therefore, during the first appointment we will try to find specialists in your area who can provide any indicated follow-up care.

Please note: Our multi-disciplinary clinic does not focus on recent onset of headaches or urgent care. If your child needs immediate evaluation or care, please call your primary care provider. If your primary care provider refers you to us, please contact us through the Department of Neurology and we will schedule an appointment for your child in the most appropriate office.