First Contact – Headache in Primary Care

Primary care practitioners are essential to identifying and treating headache disorders, including migraine. That’s why it is imperative they have access to helpful, accurate and timely information from headache specialists to better care for their patients. The goal of First Contact – Headache in Primary Care, powered by the American Headache Society, is to provide educational resources to empower healthcare professionals and improve headache and migraine care.

5 Great Reasons Why You Should Develop Additional Expertise in the Field of Headache Medicine

Family physicians, internists, OBGYNs, pediatricians, PAs, NPs, and other allied healthcare providers can browse a variety of free resources on diagnosis, treatment and more, all curated by leaders in headache medicine. We encourage providers in all stages of their careers to utilize our programming and educational tools to improve patient care.

Watch an overview of all the resources we have to offer.

of patients consult their primary care provider for migraine
of primary care visits in the United States are for migraine

Must-Read Resources

Check out our curated selection of must-read resources on migraine and other headache disorders. We focus on the basics of diagnosing and treating head pain and link out to helpful reference materials that you can bookmark and refer to as needed.

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Bring Grand Rounds to Your Institution

The flagship offering of the Headache in Primary Care program is our one-hour grand rounds presentation, tailored to your audience’s needs and delivered by experts in headache care.

We provide the speakers, slide materials, and can provide Zoom capabilities for a virtual presentation. In support of the grand rounds, residents will have access to an ever-growing library of resources for managing headache in a primary care setting. 

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Video Library

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Phases of Migraine

Most people with migraine will experience four distinct phases during attacks: prodrome, aura, headache and postdrome. Here’s a breakdown of each phase including symptoms and how long they will last.
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Preventive Treatments for Migraine

Most people with migraine will experience four distinct phases during attacks: prodrome, aura, headache and postdrome. Here’s a breakdown of each phase including symptoms and how long they will last.
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Explaining the Importance of Routine

Educating patients with migraine about maintaining a healthy, predictable routine can help them manage their migraine. Here’s how to talk to your patient about establishing a routine.
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Headache 101 with Dr. Andrew Hershey

In this video, Andrew Hershey, MD, PhD, FAHS, discusses the basics of headache diagnostics and treatment, and how to explain them to patients.
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Migraine Symptoms on Non-headache Days

Patients with migraine often experience headache-like symptoms during the period between headache episodes, known as the interictal state. Juliana VanderPluym, MD, FAHS, shares more.
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Changes in Headache History: When to be Concerned

Brian Plato, DO, FAHS, explains which changes in headache history are cause for concern and how clinicians can help.
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Over-the-Counter Medications

Jessica Ailani, MD, FAHS, spoke with us about everything you should know about over-the-counter medications to manage migraine symptoms.
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Clinical Pearls on Migraine Prevention

Preventative measures are especially beneficial for patients with frequent, disabling or long-lasting attacks. Stephanie Nahas, MD, MSEd, FAHS, shares clinical pearls on migraine prevention.

Preventive Migraine Treatment: How to Counsel Patients

Duren Michael Ready, MD, FAHS, discusses counseling patients about their preventive migraine treatment for the most effective results.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Migraine: Q&A with Elizabeth Seng, PhD

Elizabeth Seng, PhD, FAHS, spoke with the American Headache Society about CBT and its place in migraine treatment.

Treating Pediatric Migraine

Lauren Doyle Strauss, DO, FAHS, explains about what providers should consider when treating pediatric migraine.
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News and Articles

Sensory Hypersensitivity Symptoms in Migraine with vs Without Aura

Migraine with aura is associated with more severe photophobia than migraine without aura. A cross-sectionalRead More

What Allodynia Tells us About Migraine: Q&A With David Dodick, MD, FAHS

How three factors associated with allodynia, as outlined by the MAST Study, affect migraine treatmentRead More

Allodynia & Migraine Treatment: Q&A With Dr. Richard Lipton

Allodynia is common in migraine, but patients often don’t know how to talk to theirRead More

Touch Sensitivity During Migraine Episodes: Q&A With Dr. Rami Burstein

Touch sensitivity can develop years after migraine symptoms first appear. Dr. Rami Burstein explains itsRead More

Wolff Award-Winning Research Identifies Unmet Treatment Need for Migraine Patients With Allodynia

How AHS doctors are changing the way we treat allodynia Findings published in the July/AugustRead More

The Traffic Light of Headache | American Headache Society

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

Headache 101 with Dr. Andrew Hershey | American Headache Society

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

From the Journal: The Prevalence of Migraine and Severe Headache

Research extracting age, race/ethnicity, sex-standardaized and socioeconomic data characterizes the prevalence of migraine and headache.Read More

OTC Migraine Treatment: Q&A | American Headache Society

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

How Doctors Determine Acute Migraine Treatment Plans | AHS

Stewart Tepper, MD, FAHS, walks through what needs to be considered when determining acute migraine treatment plans for patients.Read More

Preventive Migraine Treatment: How to Counsel Patients | AHS

Duren Michael Ready, MD, FAHS, talks with the American Headache Society about how to best speak with patients about their preventive migraine treatment.Read More

Sleep, Migraine and Improved Patient Outcomes | AHS

Poor sleep habits and migraine continue to be linked as more advanced technology allows physicians to reveal a stronger connection.Read More

Clinical Pearls on Migraine Prevention | American Headache Society

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

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Migraine: Q&A | AHS

Elizabeth Seng, PhD, FAHS, recently spoke with the American Headache Society about cognitive behavioral therapy and its place in migraine treatment.Read More

Study Demonstrates Feasibility of Migraine-Specific CBT | AHS

A new study demonstrated the feasibility of developing a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program specifically for migraine patients.Read More

The Future of Neuromodulation: Q&A | American Headache Society

The future of pain management looks bright. Michael Oshinsky, PhD, discusses the future of neuromodulation technology in this Q&A.Read More

Updated Guidelines for Neuroimaging in Migraine | American Headache Society

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

Neuromodulation as a Treatment for Migraine | AHS

Umer Najib, MD, FAHS, shares who is a suitable candidate for non-invasive neuromodulation and explains how to gauge treatment success.Read More

Migraine and Contraceptives | American Headache Society

Dips in estrogen cause many patients to seek out hormonal balancing methods such as contraceptives as a form of treatment.Read More

Treating Pediatric Migraine | American Headache Society

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

Pediatric Migraine: Q&A With Dr. Christina Szperka

Dr. Christina Szperka on the prevalence of pediatric migraine and how treatment options for kids differ from how we treat adults.Read More

Treating Chronic Headache in Adolescents with Group Education | AHS

Research from Headache suggests education on lifestyle factors may be an effective, low-cost method for treating chronic headache in youth.Read More

From the Journal: sTMS for Migraine Treatment in Adolescents | AHS

New research suggest that single‐pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (sTMS) may be safe and effective for patients ages 12 to 17.Read More

Migraine with Aura, Contraceptives and Stroke Risk

A new study sought to examine available research to confirm whether there is a synergism between migraine and oral contraceptives related to stroke risk.Read More
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Podcasts

The First Contact – Headache In Primary Care podcast breaks down topics in headache medicine for primary care providers and other healthcare professionals seeing patients with migraine and other headache disorders.

 

Treating and Preventing Migraine

What acute and preventive medication options are there for people living with migraine? Dr. Olivia Begasse De Dhaem provides an overview of the different types of medications, from NSAIDS to triptans.

Behavioral Treatment for Migraine

Behavioral treatments for migraine, including biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy and relaxation, have shown great effectiveness for migraine. Learn more about these treatments on this episode.

Headache Management over Telemedicine

Dr. Robblee shares tips for preparing a patient for a virtual visit, conducting a neurological exam over video, keeping patients out of the emergency room and more.

Asking the Right Questions to Diagnose Migraine

Dr. Brian Plato explains how providers can diagnose migraine through a systematic set of questions to feel confident in their diagnosis.

Busting Myths About Migraine

Join Dr. Thomas Berk as he busts five migraine myths and introduces a bonus sixth misconception about migraine which he calls “the mother of all myths.”

Surprising Truths about Migraine Epidemiology

How does this affect family planning and pregnancy? Hear from Dr. Tracy Grossman on helping women manage migraine through pregnancy.

Special Populations: Migraine during Pregnancy

How does this affect family planning and pregnancy? Hear from Dr. Tracy Grossman on helping women manage migraine through pregnancy.

Special Populations: Migraine in Children

Migraine affects 39 million people in the United States, and one in 11 children have migraine. On this episode, pediatric neurologist Dr. Lauren Strauss explains diagnosis, lifestyle changes and treatments for children with migraine.

Red Flags in Headache: What if it isn't Migraine?

About 80-90% of the headaches are primary headaches, but the other 10-20% are secondary—caused by something else, usually an underlying condition or side effect of medication. This episode, Dr. Rebecca Michael dives into the “red flags” to look out for when making a diagnosis.

Prescribing a Migraine-friendly Lifestyle

Patients are often surprised by how much a lifestyle change can improve the severity and frequency of their migraine attacks. Find out what kinds of changes, from diet to exercise, Dr. Fred Cohen recommends sharing with patients.