Headache Care

Headaches are a common annoyance affecting almost everyone from time to time. For some people, however, severe headache pain is a regular part of life — making it difficult to get through the day.

At Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Neuroscience Institute, our neurology team includes physicians who focus on headache care. Using research-backed treatments and novel medications, we recommend a treatment plan  specifically for you, based on your symptoms and needs. We get you headache relief today while also working with you to prevent future headaches.

Headache care at AHN: Why choose us?

People seeking headache care at AHN benefit from our:

  • Expertise: AHN’s Headache Center is led by Dolores Santamaria, MD, a board-certified headache specialist who has certification from the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties. This certification demonstrates advanced capabilities in diagnosing and treating headaches and headache-related conditions. We use the most effective treatments for people’s specific symptoms and type of headache.
  • Effective headache care: If you have severe headache pain that hasn’t responded to medication, our Headache Center provides nerve blocks and trigger point injections that may relieve your pain, without having to visit the ER.
  • Innovative infusion center: For people experiencing chronic migraines or other headache pain, our on-site infusion treatments give you medication through an IV. Infusion therapy may reduce the frequency or severity of your headaches. Some people are headache-free for weeks after receiving this novel treatment option.
  • Urgent headache care: If you have severe headache pain that hasn’t responded to medication, our Headache Center provides fast relief through same-day emergency appointments. We offer nerve blocks and trigger point injections to relieve your pain, without visiting the ER. Please note: If you experience persistent headache pain with vomiting and dehydration, a physician in the ER should evaluate you.
  • Wide-ranging treatment options: We work to find a short- and long-term headache relief strategy for you. We offer several types of medications that stop headache pain and prevent future headaches.
  • Whole-body approach to care: Comprehensive headache care is more than finding the right medication. We also consider how your stress level, sleep routines, and diet may affect your headaches — and discuss actions you can take to improve your symptoms.
  • Focus on headache research: We follow ongoing clinical trials to ensure we’re offering you the most promising headache therapies as soon as they’re available.

Headache conditions we treat

Our first goal is to pinpoint what’s causing your symptoms. AHN’s Headache Center treats both primary and secondary headaches in people 15 and older. When headache pain is the main medical issue, physicians call it a primary headache. Secondary headaches relate to an underlying condition that causes headache pain (such as a concussion or eye disorder). 

Primary headache types

The three common types of primary headaches include the following:

Secondary headaches

Separate medical conditions may play a role in your headache symptoms. These can include:

Comprehensive headache care

At AHN Headache Center, you’ll receive a full evaluation that identifies the underlying cause of your headache pain. We then develop a personalized treatment plan addressing your symptoms and circumstances.

Medication is just one of many options that may help relieve pain. We also provide research-backed therapies and medicines tested in clinical trials, so that you can experience the best possible outcome.

Our treatment goal is always to:

  • Decrease how much pain you’re in now
  • Shorten the headache attack period
  • Prevent future attacks from occurring

Headache treatments may include one or more of these therapies:

  • Alternative medicine
  • Biofeedback
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Diet changes
  • Infusion therapy
  • Nerve blocks
  • Preventive or abortive (fast-acting) medications
  • Stress management techniques

Learn more about the AHN Headache Center’s comprehensive approach to headache care.

Contact us

To request an appointment at the AHN Headache Center, call (412) 578-3925 in Pittsburgh or (814) 452-7575 in Erie.

Find us

AHN Headache Center
West Penn Hospital
4815 Liberty Ave.
Suite 439
Pittsburgh, PA 15224