Headaches: Overview for Clinicians

An Integrative Approach to Recurring Headaches

Determine if headaches are from medication overuse

  • Create a plan for discontinuation of pain medication.
  • Possible bridge therapy-
    • Naproxen Sodium or Meclofenamate Sodium or Prednisone
    • Acupuncture
    • Raskin protocol-most effective for severe rebound headaches

Identify and remove headache triggers:

  • Headache diary
  • Headache elimination diet
  • Stress reduction
  • Biofeedback

Initiate preventive therapy (raise the headache threshold):

  • Assess myofascial tension in neck and shoulders; refer for body work as needed.
  • Initiate trial of supplements
    • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin). 400 mg qd
    • Magnesium. 600 mg qd
    • Feverfew. 25 mg bid
    • CoEnzyme Q-10. 150 mg a day, for adults; 1-3 mg/kg/day for children.
    • Fish oil/olive oil. Fish oil: 756 mg qd EPA; 498 mg qd DHA and olive oil 1,382 mg oleic acid daily
    • Butterbur (Petasites). Petadolex 50-100 mg bid
  • Medicate for concomitant conditions. See Pearls for Clinicians below for details.
  • Initiate mind/body approaches.
    • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
    • Breathing Exercise
    • Guided Imagery
    • Self-Hypnosis
  • Consider craniosacral therapy for headaches that result from cranial trauma.

Please see the downloads section at the right for more detailed clinician and patient information.

Disclaimer: This information is for general education. Please work with your health care practitioner to use it in the best way possible to promote your health.