Headache Medicine

Headaches are the most common neurological disorder. Approximately 35 million American have migraine and related disorders. The World Health Organization ranks a migraine as the 7th leading cause of disability worldwide. In the United States, migraine and related disorders are the most common cause of pain related disability. Just as in other areas of medicine and neurology, subspecialty care is vital for many highly afflicted individuals. The relatively young subspecialty of headache medicine is designed to address this need.

Headache Medicine is a subspecialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of head and face pain. Its scope includes the primary headache disorder such as migraine, tension-type, and cluster headache. Complications related to these primary headaches such as Medication Overuse, Chronic Migraine, and Status Migraine require the specialized expertise that the section of Headache Medicine delivers. We also see frequently and treat other headaches disorders such as Trigeminal and Occipital Neuralgia, Cervicogenic Headache and secondary causes of a headache such as a sinus disease, infection, brain tumors, vascular disease and exposure to certain medications and environmental sources.

Headaches are experienced by essentially everyone at some time in their life. For the vast majority, rest and simple over the counter medications may be more than sufficient. Patients with significant headaches such as these require more than rest, reassurance, and simple medicines. They require concerned and knowledgeable clinicians who can work with them to find successful means of controlling their headaches and restoring their quality of life.

Specialists in headache medicine may come from various backgrounds including neurology, psychiatry, or primary care. At Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin we have four certified headache medicine specialists, Frederick Freitag, DO and Jonathan Florczak, Fallon Schloemer, DO and Derrick Shumate, DO.  Cheryl Blaschuk, NP and Sonia Neuberger, PA-C are also members of our headache team.  We work with a variety of other health care professionals in multiple disciplines to provide a comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and management of a headache. These other specialists include otorhinolaryngology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, chiropractic, sleep medicine, neuro-ophthalmology, pain medicine, psychiatry and psychology, neurosurgery, plastic surgery, physical therapy, nutrition, and nursing.

We take a team approach to addressing the complex management issues that occur in patients with Chronic Migraine. This program brings to together the ability to address the various aspects of care required by these patients with medical and non-medical assessments and treatments with infusion services to break the cycle of pain as well as intensive patient education. All designed to deliver the best evidence-based approach to this disorder.

Treatments for a headache are individualized and make use of the best combination of evidenced-based care with the clinical expertise from years of practice in headache medicine and neurology. We provide a unique multimedia educational program in addition to personalized teaching with the physicians and nurse educators.