Headaches Specialist

St Michael's Neurology and Pain Medicine

Miguel Pappolla, MD, PhD

Neurology & Pain Medicine located in the Texas Medical Center, Houston, TX

Few neurological problems result in the level of disability that frequent migraines and other severe headaches can cause. If you're having recurring headaches or migraines, board-certified neurologist Miguel Pappolla, MD, at St Michael's Neurology and Pain Medicine in Houston, Texas, can help. Dr. Pappolla and his team offer the most advanced prevention and treatment options to reduce the frequency and severity of your headaches. You can benefit from their experience by calling the office or booking an appointment online today.

Headaches Q & A

What causes headaches?

Headaches come in many forms and have numerous causes. Sometimes they develop as a symptom of an infection like sinusitis or a fever. Tiredness, stress, dehydration, and blows to the head are all common causes of headaches.

However, some headaches don't have such an obvious cause. Migraines are one of the most common of these disabling, recurring headaches.

What are migraine headaches?

Migraine headaches are attacks of intense pain that tend to be worse on one side of your head. In addition to severe pain, migraines can cause:

  • Vision problems
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Impaired speech
  • Feelings of numbness
  • Increased sensitivity to light and sound

If you have visual disturbances like seeing flashing lights, spots, or other strange shapes in front of your eyes, it's known as migraine with aura. Aura and other symptoms can occur before the pain begins — warning you a migraine is coming — or alongside the pain.

Some people only have occasional migraines, while others have them frequently — some as many as 15 or more each month. During a migraine attack, the symptoms can be so incapacitating that it's impossible to move, let alone work or participate in home life.

How are headaches treated?

Treating your headache depends on the correct diagnosis of the cause. As an experienced board-certified neurologist, Dr. Pappolla has considerable expertise in diagnosing and treating a comprehensive range of headaches.

For regular headaches due to stress and illness, over-the-counter remedies are often effective, but for more serious headaches, they're rarely as beneficial. 

In addition to prescription medication, Dr. Pappolla offers several advanced treatments for migraines and other severe headaches, including:

  • Painless nerve blocks
  • New antibodies (periodic single injections)
  • Cervical spinal cord stimulation
  • Peripheral nerve or nerve root stimulation

These therapies are all minimally invasive outpatient procedures that cause little discomfort. They can ease headache pain even for refractory migraines (those that are treatment-resistant), with Dr. Pappolla's patients experiencing a highly successful rate of improvement.

Can I prevent headaches and migraines?

Some common causes of headaches are preventable. For example, learning to manage stress and drinking plenty of water help you avoid dehydration and stress headaches.

If you get migraines, you can also learn to identify your triggers and avoid them. Triggers may be anything from aged cheese or red wine to emotional distress or even certain smells.

Dr. Pappolla also can prescribe medications that help prevent migraines.

Don't let severe headaches and migraines take over your life. Call St Michael's Neurology and Pain Medicine today or book an appointment online.