Head and Neck Pain

The Pain Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center offers full services to treat chronic headache, mouth, face and neck pain. Under the co-direction of Steven Graff-Radford, DDS, the staff of the Headache, Orofacial Pain and Sleep Apnea Program is composed of experienced board-certified health professionals, including dentists, anesthesiologists, internists, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists.

Patients who suffer pain caused by any one of a variety of medical conditions are evaluated and treated through a well-defined, time-limited program tailored to their individual needs. The program is outpatient-based and usually lasts six to eight weeks. In developing an individual treatment program for a patient, specialists first gather key medical information from the patient to correctly diagnose the source of the pain. After completing a series of questionnaires, the patient is examined by a doctor.

Further testing may follow, including image scans (pictures of affected areas), certain laboratory tests and behavioral exams. The patient may be given nerve blocks (numbing of the nerve) as part of the diagnostic process. A pain psychologist, anesthesiologist, dentist or physical therapist may also evaluate the patient before the treatment plan is launched. Once all the facts of the case have been gathered, doctors from the appropriate specialties meet to determine the best treatment plan. The plan is then presented to the patient. Because the success of pain management programs requires the full cooperation of the patient, our doctors strongly encourage pain sufferers to learn as much about their condition as possible and to follow strictly every phase of the treatment plan.

Commonly Treated Problems

Primary Headaches

  • Migraine
  • Chronic daily headache
  • Analgesic rebound (medication-caused) headache
  • Tension-type headache
  • Cluster headaches

Secondary Headaches

  • Temporomandibular (jaw/skull joint) disorders
  • Cervical (neck) disorders
  • Trigeminal and other facial neuralgias
  • Myofascial pain

Cancer-Caused Head and Neck Pain

Treatment Options

Depending on the medical factors involved, the doctor will select from the following strategies to relieve the patient's suffering:

  • Pharmacotherapy (medications)
  • Splint/oral appliance therapy
  • Home posture and stretching program
  • Trigger point injections
  • Nerve blocks
  • Biofeedback
  • Cognitive/behavioral strategies
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