Hoag Headache Program Patient Experience

As a patient part of the Hoag Headache Program, you will be seen by a comprehensive, multidisciplinary team of headache experts. Below is an outline of steps you may follow when entering into the Hoag Headache Program.

Step 1

  • Contact the Hoag Headache Program by calling 949-764-6066
  • Speak with a specialized Nurse Navigator for an explanation of the program
  • Nurse Navigator will refer you to a physician specialist

Step 2

  • Consultation with the physician specialist
  • Consultation may include history and physical exam, review of prior treatment, and review of prior studies. Based upon this evaluation, further imaging studies may be necessary.
  • Based on the initial consultation, therapy is selected and may include pharmacologic treatment, which may be preventive or used as rescue therapy.

Step 3

Recommended non-pharmacologic treatment may include:

  • Physical Therapist – Exercise may have an effect on headache frequency and intensity. This portion of the evaluation will focus on your ability to exercise, then provide an at home exercise regime to strengthen weak areas and aid in relaxation of stressed areas.
  • Biofeedback – Biofeedback is a treatment technique in which you learn to take part in your own healthcare through learned body/mind self regulation. Biofeedback therapy uses signals monitored from your own body to assist you in learning techniques to reduce pain, stress, tension, and anxiety. Through such techniques you can influence the physical and emotional changes that underlie headache and pain.
  • Acupuncture – Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective treatment for many pain disorders.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – Many patients with chronic pain may fall into a self-defeating “awfulizing” mindset. The goal of CBT is to assess and treat these maladaptive, or self-defeating, patterns of thinking.

Step 4

Following these steps, if necessary, an ongoing comprehensive treatment plan is developed. Headache tends to be a chronic disorder, while a “cure” is highly desirable, the main goal of this program is to reduce the frequency and severity, and increase the quality of life.