Headaches aren’t just an adult problem; they’re very common in children and teens. Board-certified pediatric neurologist Ashutosh Raina, MD, at Center of Excellence in Pediatric Neurology in Rocklin and Sacramento, California, provides comprehensive care for children and teens who experience headaches, including migraines and tension headaches. For an evaluation, call the office or request an appointment online today.
Headaches are a common pain complaint, even in children and teens, and a common reason parents bring their children to see the pediatrician. More than 50% of teens reported experiencing headaches within a month before they were surveyed.
Headaches can result from any number of causes including genetic predisposition, trauma, an intracranial mass, metabolic or vascular disease, or sinusitis. Knowing the cause of your child’s headache is crucial to getting the right care.
There are many types of headaches that cause various symptoms. The most common types of headaches that affect children and teens include:
Tension headaches are the most common. This type of headache develops due to tightness of the muscles in the head, neck, shoulders, or jaw. Tension headaches tend to cause mild to moderate pain.
By age 15 as many as 5% of children in the United States have had a migraine. This type of headache causes an intense throbbing sensation usually localized to one side of the head. In addition to the head pain, migraines may also cause other symptoms such as sensitivity to light, nausea, or vomiting.
Any blow to the head or body, fall, or an injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull can lead to a concussion, which is a type of traumatic brain injury. Concussions require immediate medical attention. Headaches can be a symptom of a concussion.
The experienced pediatric neurology team at Center of Excellence in Pediatric Neurology conducts comprehensive evaluations when you come to the office seeking help for your child’s headaches. During the evaluation, Dr. Raina and his team review symptoms, medical and family history, and conduct a physical exam.
Due to the many potential underlying causes, the team may request diagnostic tests to rule out or confirm a specific diagnosis. These tests may include bloodwork, urinalysis, or an MRI of the head.
Treatment for your child’s headache may depend on the type of headache they have and/or the underlying cause. Dr. Raina and his team work closely with you and your child to develop a treatment plan that minimizes discomfort.
For concussions, Dr. Raina offers concussion rehabilitation therapy.
If you have concerns about your child’s ongoing headaches, contact the team at Center of Excellence in Pediatric Neurology for an evaluation.