Managing and Treating Frequent Headaches

Often presenting in childhood, the headache gene affects approximately 30 percent of the population, causing frequent and agonizing headaches for many people. While there is no cure for the gene, headaches can be managed with a combination of healthy habits and the right medication.

“It’s a combination of a lot of things and I tell both my kids and adults there is no magic pill,” said CHI St. Vincent pediatrician Dr. Joe Elser. “We take appropriate medication and we eat right. We sleep well. We hydrate. We exercise and we work on our stress.”

Suffering from chronic headaches himself, Dr. Elser has devoted his life to helping both pediatric and adult patients manage headache pain. “We try to direct them toward appropriate treatment and avoid things that have no basis in science,” he said. “I would say 90 percent of the patients that we have seen over the past 34 years attain some type of control with what we do. Something works for everyone. We just have to find the thing that works for them.”

To learn more about compassionate care at CHI St. Vincent and the team of specialists at the Pediatric Headache Clinic, visit: