Headache Services

Headache Clinic Headache Services

Headache Services

If your child experiences frequent headaches, she’s not alone. More than 40,000 children in the Kansas City metro suffer from moderate-to-severe headaches, which can be debilitating and impact their quality of life.

Often, parents wonder when to see a doctor for a headache. We understand that getting the right treatment, at the right time, in the right setting is important when it comes to managing your child’s headaches.

Headache Treatment Center: Timely, personalized care in a headache-friendly environment

Are you looking for relief from today's headache? Consider the Headache Treatment Center as an alternative to an urgent care center. Call our Headache Treatment Center at (816) 302-1815 to schedule the next available appointment for your child. Appointments open up 48 hours in advance so we can make every effort to see you in the clinic as soon as possible.

Headache Relief Clinics: Answers for children with persistent headache pain

Would you like expert guidance for your child's frequent headaches? Work together with our headache-trained specialists to develop a plan for headache care and management. Learn more about our Headache Relief Clinics or call (816) 234-3700 to schedule an appointment--no referral necessary.

Headache team

The team is led by Dr. Jennifer Bickel, one of the few board-certified headache specialists in the country and an innovative leader in the field of neurology. She has developed an intensive training program for everyone on the care team to ensure the highest quality of headache care for your child. Learn why Dr. Bickel is passionate about helping kids with headaches find relief in her introductory video.

Mark Connelly, PhD, is an internationally renowned pain psychologist who co-directs the Comprehensive Headache Clinic with Dr. Bickel. He brings extensive knowledge and research into how a child’s mood, environment, and stress levels can contribute to headache pain.

The Headache Clinic team includes highly trained physicians, nurse practitioners, and other allied health professionals, including uniquely certified specialists like Dr. Anna Esparham and Dr. Jennifer Dilts, both board-certified medical acupuncturists. They are committed to continuously improving headache care through education, advocacy, and research.

You may be able to help us in these efforts by volunteering to participate in our ongoing research studies. Learn more about research efforts at Children’s Mercy.

Treatment options

Treatment plans will be based on the best available, evidence-based therapies 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.

We look at all available options, both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical, to find what works best for your child. Personalized treatments may include:

  • Rescue medications – specifically designed to stop a headache that is in progress
  • Prevention medications – used on a daily basis to prevent headaches
  • Nutraceuticals – products derived from food sources, such as magnesium or riboflavin, that have additional health benefits related to headache management
  • Cranial nerve blocks – an injection of numbing medication to help break the cycle of headaches
  • Botox® – a series of injections for children with chronic migraines that don't respond to other treatments
  • IV infusions, including magnesium, fluids and other medications such as migraine-specific DHE
  • Cefaly® – an external trigeminal nerve stimulation (e-TNS) device that attaches to the forehead and sends electrical signals to treat and prevent migraine headaches
  • Self-regulation and biofeedback – learning to understand and respond to your body’s signals
  • Acupuncture – careful placement of very small needles by a board-certified medical acupuncturist

How to request a consultation for a patient

Health care providers can request a consultation at the Headache Relief Clinic by calling our Contact Center at (816) 234-3700 or online through the Provider Portal (select Neurology).