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Articles for Providers

Andrew Hershey, MD, PhD, FAHS, walks through the characteristics of headache and how they are classified, as well as how to explain them to patients.Read More

An overview of the Traffic Light of Headache system for helping patients prevent headache attacks from becoming debilitating.Read More

Jessica Ailani, MD, FAHS, discusses how to get honest answers from patients about their OTC migraine treatment strategies and ways to better inform them.Read More

Stephanie J. Nahas, MD, FAHS, MSEd explains how migraine prevention and patient education go hand in hand.Read More

Recent studies explore links between 4 commonly believed migraine triggers (caffeine, chocolate, weather, and non-working days) and migraine attack onset.Read More

Randolph Evans, MD, FAHS spoke to us about the significance of the recently updated guidelines for neuroimaging in migraine for patients with headache.Read More

Changes in headache should be of concern to medical professionals. Learn more about what red flags in headache history providers should look for.Read More

Lauren Doyle Strauss, DO, FAHS, talks treating pediatric migraine in this interview from the 2018 Scottsdale Headache Symposium.Read More

Flowchart: Diagnosing and Treating Migraine

Migraine (adult)

This algorithm addresses the management of migraine, including for patients in the acute care setting (e.g., emergency department).

In acute care settings the likelihood of a severe headache being caused by an alternative and sometimes life-threatening condition is significant, so careful evaluation may be necessary before concluding the headache is due to migraine.

Urgent evaluation needed?
Initiate acute therapy with or without preventive treatment
Is the patient pregnant or breastfeeding?
Referral to Migraine management: Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Neurology eConsult or consult
Consider neurology consult

Primary Authors: Jonathan H. Smith, MD and Ivan Garza, MD

Secondary Authors: Scott D. Eggers, MD and Deborah J. Rhodes, MD

Input and Recommendations: Mohamad Bydon, MD, Bryan T. Klassen, MD, Suresh Kotagal, MD, Ruple S. Laughlin, MD, Eugene L. Scharf, MD, Cheolsu Shin, MD, Jerry W. Swanson, MD, MHPE and W. Oliver Tobin, MB, BCh, BAO, PhD

AHS editors: Adam S. Sprouse Blum, MD, Carol A. Barch, MN, FNP-BC, Hope O’Brien, MD, MBA, Scott Litin, MD, Mia T. Minen, MD, MPH, Matthew S. Robbins, MD, Kathleen B. Digre, MD

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are solely those of the authors and reviewers. The AHS does not provide medical advice or recommendations. As with all flowcharts, clinical judgement in each individual situation must be considered.   Additionally, this webpage is subject to the AHS Legal Notice and Disclaimers found at

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Resources for Patients

What Type of Headache Do You Have? | American Migraine Foundation

Use our guide to help narrow down the most common types of migraine to find out what kind of headache you have. Read More

Migraine's Contributing Factors | The American Migraine Foundation

Enter your name and email for a free download of our guide on migraine's contributing factors. Read More

Here are some tips to navigate migraine conversations to help you prepare to be your own best advocate at work, school or home.Read More

What to do After a Migraine Diagnosis

To help those coping with a recent migraine diagnosis, lean on this guide to show you how to communicate your needs to your support network, and more. Read More

To prevent attacks from happening, migraine management is key. Learn techniques to identify and avoid your migraine triggers.Read More

How to use behavioral treatment to combat migraine. Learn about cognitive-behavioral therapy and how it works in treating people with migraine.Read More

Neuromodulation may provide an effective alternative treatment for people with migraine. Read the story from the AMF to learn more.Read More

Understanding and avoiding medication overuse headache. Learn more about how to prevent and treat medication overuse headache.Read More

For women, migraine frequency and treatment options can change from puberty to menopause. Learn how fluctuating estrogen levels affect migraine.Read More

The following tips help kids with migraine follow healthy habits and give them a means of managing their symptoms. Read more.Read More

Wondering how to advocate for your child with migraine at school? Read our parent guide on for tips on educating the people in your child's life about migraine.Read More