Headache Center

The first center of its kind on the West Coast, the UCSF Headache Center provides comprehensive care to relieve the most debilitating headaches. We offer outpatient clinical care as well as inpatient hospital treatment for those who need it. In addition, the center conducts research, exploring the mechanisms of headaches and how existing and new treatments might provide relief.

Our specialists work closely with you and your primary care doctor to develop an effective long-term treatment plan. When appropriate, we work with experts in neurosurgery, otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) and ophthalmology (eyes and vision). We also work with specialists at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, which combines conventional and alternative medicine, such as acupuncture, herbs, massage and meditation, for treating headaches.

We treat patients and families with the utmost respect and compassion, with sensitivity to the diverse places and cultures from which our patients come.

Pediatric patients are seen at the UCSF Pediatric Headache Center.

Patients with pain in the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) are treated at the UCSF Center for Orofacial Pain and Dental Sleep Medicine. For more information and appointments, call (415) 476-8298.

Patients with sinus pain are treated at the UCSF Sinus Center. For more information and appointments, call (415) 353-2757.

We are part of the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences.

Telemedicine Consultations

The UCSF Headache Center is able to provide consultations for patients in our region, as well as nationally and internationally. We only require a referral and recent medical records from the primary medical or neurological team and insurance information. Patients will be seen virtually by Dr. Levin or one of his associates. A complete consultation note will be sent with detailed recommendations for diagnostic testing (if warranted) and specific management suggestions including medications, pain procedures and neuromodulation techniques. Call (415) 353-8393 to make a telemedicine appointment.

Our locations

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    Decorative Caduceus

    Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks RCT

    Reduction in headache days from baseline to month 8 of treatment

    Recruiting

    Decorative Caduceus

    Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation for the Prevention of Migraines

    The primary outcome measurement for effectiveness is the difference between the active and sham treatment groups in the mean reduction in number of migraine days during the last 4 weeks of the 12-week double-blind period (versus d...

    Recruiting

    Awards & recognition

    • usnews-neurology

      Best hospital in Northern California

    • usnews-neurology

      Best in the West in neurology & neurosurgery

    Support services

    Class

    Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Class

    This eight-week UCSF class teaches mindfulness practices, such as meditation and body awareness, that can reduce stress and improve your overall health.

    Patient Resource

    Patient Relations

    We welcome feedback about your experience at UCSF Health. Find out how to contact us with comments, questions or concerns.

    Preparing for Your Appointment

    What to Expect

    • At your first visit, you'll meet with a neurologist who specializes in headache medicine. This doctor will obtain a detailed history, perform a head and neck as well as a neurological examination, assess the cause of your headaches, and offer treatment options.
    • Because UCSF is a major, internationally known medical training center, you may see physicians in specialty training (residents and fellows) who are under the supervision of one of our faculty.
    • At follow-up visits, you'll be seen either by one of our neurologists or, occasionally, by a nurse practitioner. Your primary care provider will also participate in your ongoing care.

    International Services

    If you live in another country and are coming to UCSF for medical
    treatment, our patient liaisons can help coordinate all aspects of your visit.

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    Interpreters

    UCSF offers language services at no charge for patients with limited
    English, as well as for patients who are deaf or have trouble hearing.

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    Hospital Stays

    Checking into the hospital? Find helpful information by clicking on the relevant “Your Hospital Stay” booklet: Mission Bay, Parnassus or Mount
    Zion.

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    Your Doctor Visit

    See our top 10 tips for making your UCSF doctor’s appointment as stress-free and productive as possible.

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    Our research initiatives

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