Headache Treatments

We offer interventional facial pain and headache treatments that target pain at the source.

Headache Treatment and Facial Pain Treatment

When you experience chronic headaches, migraines or facial pain, it can significantly reduce your quality of life. The first step is to determine what is causing your pain, and then develop an appropriate treatment plan. Henry Ford Pain Management specialists offer advanced, interventional headache treatments and facial pain treatments that target pain at the source.

Nerve blocks for headache treatment and facial pain treatment

A nerve block is a minimally invasive procedure used to alleviate pain in a specific area of the body. Nerve blocks used in headache treatment and facial pain treatment target specific head and facial nerves that are the source of the pain. By injecting a medication into and around these nerve roots, nerve blocks prevent these nerves from transmitting pain signals to the affected region.

Corticosteroid injections

Our headache and facial pain injections contain an anesthetic, and in some cases a corticosteroid (or cortisone) medication, which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. Headache and facial pain injections are one of many types of corticosteroid injections used to manage pain. Others include:

Headache and facial pain conditions treated with nerve blocks

We can provide headache treatment and facial pain treatment to alleviate pain caused by many chronic conditions, including:

  • Chronic migraines
  • Chronic headaches
  • Dental-related pain that affects the face
  • Post-herpetic neuralgia
  • Facial injury
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Occipital neuralgia
  • Atypical facial pain

Types of nerve blocks used in headache treatment and facial pain treatment

Henry Ford Pain Management specialists have expertise in all advanced nerve block procedures used to alleviate specific areas of headache and facial pain. These procedures include:

  • Trigeminal nerve block (face)
  • Sphenopalatine ganglion block (nose and palate)
  • Occipital nerve block (back of head)
  • Supraorbital nerve block (forehead)
  • Mandibular nerve block (lower jaw)
  • Maxillary nerve block (upper jaw)

Peripheral nerve and field stimulation for chronic headache treatment

Henry Ford Pain Management specialists also offer two neurostimulation procedures for chronic headache treatment. These procedures, which include peripheral nerve stimulation and peripheral field stimulation, use electrical pulses to block nerve impulses that cause pain.

What to expect during a nerve block for headache treatment or facial pain treatment

A nerve block is an advanced procedure that uses image-guided fluoroscopy – a type of medical imaging that displays a live X-ray image on a monitor – to ensure accurate placement of the injection needle. During the nerve block procedure:

  1. You are positioned sitting up.
  2. Your skin is sterilized at the injection site.
  3. You are administered a local anesthetic to numb the injection area.
  4. You are positioned on the fluoroscopy X-ray table.
  5. Your pain management physician inserts a needle into your skin, and guides it toward the targeted nerve roots, using the fluoroscopic image to ensure accurate placement.
  6. Once the needle is positioned, the medication is injected into the space surrounding the targeted spinal nerves.

Following your facial pain or headache treatment injection

You will be moved to a recovery room and monitored by your care team. In most cases, headache and facial pain injections are performed on an outpatient basis and you will go home the same day, although in rare cases some patients may require admission to the hospital following the procedure.

The Henry Ford Pain Center approach

At the Henry Ford Pain Center, pain treatment begins with a thorough medical history and physical exam. All patients are evaluated by board-certified pain medicine physicians, physician assistants and certified nurse practitioners to identify the cause of their pain. Following initial assessment, we work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that may include interventional pain procedures, medication therapy, physical therapy, massage and other complementary options.

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If this is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.

For your safety, please select a MyChart video visit on demand or call our MyCare Advice Line at 844-262-1949 before scheduling if:

  • You currently have a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • In the past 21 days, you have been diagnosed with COVID-19
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    • chills
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Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email CommunicationAccess@hfhs.org.

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