Headache Clinic

Headache Clinic

Migraine-Relief Care from Certified Headache Doctors

The Headache Relief Clinic at Children's Mercy Kansas City provides specialized migraine relief care for children and teenagers. Our team of doctors, nurses, and other headache specialists work together to create a treatment plan that helps reduce headaches and get your child back to normal life.

We consider family members a crucial part of every patient’s care team. Our goal is to partner with you to create a headache-relief plan that meets the needs and preferences of both you and your child. Working with you as part of our team greatly enhances the benefits of your child’s care and increases the likelihood of a successful outcome.

Our Locations

Our team is currently available to provide migraine-relief treatment at three locations in Missouri and one in Kansas - Kansas City, North; Kansas City, downtown; Independence, and Overland Park. Use the map below for location details, contact information, and directions to a location near you. 

What to Expect During Your First Visit

Your child’s first appointment will last about an hour and includes an evaluation with one of our headache specialists. They will spend time talking with you to get a better understanding of your child’s medical history and learn how headaches are impacting his or her daily life. The appropriate headache diagnosis can be made during most first clinic visits, though sometimes the provider may ask for additional testing such as bloodwork or an MRI. They also will ask about health habits and stress management to help guide a multimodal treatment plan customized for your child. Medication may be prescribed if appropriate. 

Treatment plans will be based on the best current research evidence available for treating headaches in children. Opioid pain medications are not prescribed by our clinic, since research has shown that these medications can actually lead to worsening problems with headaches. Learn how our headache specialists use acupuncture to relieve headache pain for some patients. 

It is important to arrive at your scheduled appointment on time. We see many families each day in our clinic, and we want to ensure our team has an opportunity to spend quality time with you and your child. 

After your initial visit, we will have you back for follow-up appointments typically within one to three months. Those appointments will focus on additional assessments to see how well your child’s care plan is working. And we’ll work with you to make any adjustments if needed.

How to Schedule an Appointment with a Headache Specialist

Before your visit to the Headache Relief Clinic, you will need to contact your child’s pediatrician to request a referral. It is also can be helpful if you record information about your child’s headaches when they occur. Our Headache Relief Guide website provides information that can help you prepare for your first headache evaluation visit, and it also provides other interactive learning resources to help you and your child better understand the causes of headaches and steps you can take to control them.

If you have questions, please contact us at (816) 234-3490.

How to Request a Consultation for a Patient

If you are a provider needing to request a consultation for a patient with the Headache Relief Clinic, please call our Contact Center at (816) 234-3700 or use our New Patient Appointment form and Neurology Reason for Referral form.

Headache Team

Every step of your child’s care will be overseen by a team of highly experienced headache care specialists. The team is led by one of the few board-certified headache specialists in the country and includes highly trained physicians, nurses practitioners, and other allied health professionals. The team is committed to continuously improving headache care through education, advocacy, and research; you may be approached during clinic visits to ask for your help us in these efforts by volunteering to participate in our ongoing research studies.

Jennifer Bickel, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Chief, Headache Section
Division of Neurology
Phone: (816) 234-3090
Learn more about Dr. Bickel

Mark Connelly, PhD 
Pain Psychologist; Co-Director, Comprehensive Headache Clinic
Professor of Pediatrics

(816) 234-3090
Learn more about Dr. Connelly

Anna Esparham, MD
Board-certified Medical Acupuncturist
(816) 234-3090
Learn more about Dr. Esparham