Although headaches are common in children, recurrent or frequent headaches that interfere with daily life are a concern. The Headache Clinic is a specialized program in the Division of Neurology that evaluates and treats more than 2,000 patients annually.
The clinic helps children and adolescents with chronic, debilitating head pain, headaches, and migraines. We work to identify the cause and find an effective way to manage their headaches.
Headache Clinic at Children’s National: Why Choose Us
Our Headache Clinic, led by child neurologists Marc DiSabella, DO, Raquel Langdon, MD, and William McClintock, MD, have extensive training and experience in treating pediatric headache disorders, and use a comprehensive and holistic approach to management including lifestyle modification, behavioral strategies, and medications.
Members of the Children’s Headache Clinic team belong to the pediatric section of the American Headache Society and work closely with the National Institutes of Health to meet the special needs of patients and their families with headache disorders.
Our physicians are also active in research and clinical trials to locate factors influencing headaches in children and adolescents.
Urgent Headache Appointments
In an effort to improve access and ease of referral, the Headache Clinic has developed a centralized referral process for children with urgent headache needs. A dedicated program coordinator is available from 8:30am – 4:30pm Monday through Friday to schedule urgent appointments. The program coordinator can be reached by calling 202-476-HEAD (4323) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An urgent appointment should be made if a child is experiencing the following:
- Headaches that are recurrent (more than four times per month) or are increasingly severe
- Headaches that have been present for over four weeks and are not responding to intervention
- Headaches resulting in missed school days
Urgent appointments will be available at a Children’s National Regional Outpatient Center or the main hospital.
Emergency Department referral is recommended for children with new onset of acute, severe headaches or new neurological deficits. For less severe or more intermittent headaches, please call the Neurology appointment line at 202-476-3611 to schedule an appointment with one of our Neurology care providers.
For less severe or more intermittent headaches, please call the Neurology appointment line at 202-476-3611 to schedule an appointment with one of our neurology care providers.
Interdisciplinary Intractable Headache Clinic
Children with headaches that are difficult to control will be referred by a Children’s National provider to our Interdisciplinary Intractable Headache Clinic. This clinic utilizes lifestyle modification and healthy habits, abortive and preventive medications, complementary and alternative medicine, pain-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback, nerve blocks, and infusions to provide additional treatment options for kids.