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Kingsbridge Help & Support

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Belfast Hospital

UK 028 90 667 878  ROI 048 90 667 878 

North West Hospital

UK 028 7776 3090  ROI 048 7776 3090 

Cosmetech At Kingsbridge

NI 028 9042 3200   ROI 048 9042 3200 

Sligo Hospital

ROI 071 916 2649 

Cross Border Health Team

ROI 048 9068 8858 

Headache and Facial Pain

    • Treatments for migraines, tension headaches and cluster headaches
    • Specialist Pain Management Consultants
    • Rapid access to our Pain Clinic
    • Call to book an immediate consultation to discuss your options

The vast majority of headache variants are known as primary headache. This means that the headache itself is the main condition, and that it has not been caused by another condition.

Headache & Facial Pain

Chronic headache is a very common condition that accounts for 4.4% of primary care consultations (6.4% females and 2.5% males). The most common varieties of headache seen on chronic pain clinics include cervicogenic (coming from the neck), tension type headache and chronic migraine.

There are no blood tests or scans that can confirm these conditions and help make the diagnosis. Furthermore, with these headache types, clinical examination is usually normal. This means that the variant of headache is usually diagnosed on the history alone.

Do I Need a Brain Scan?

The vast majority of headache variants are known as primary headache. This means that the headache itself is the main condition, and that it has not been caused by another condition.

The main presentations of primary headache are:

  • Migraine
  • Tension-type headache
  • Cluster headache and other trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias
  • Other primary headaches

These conditions are usually diagnosed from the description of the pain and further scans and investigations are not necessary.

Certain ‘red flags’ can be identified in the history that would suggest that this is a secondary headache (i.e. it is a symptom of another condition) and that a brain scan or blood tests might be necessary.

Potential Secondary Headache Red Flags: “SNOOP-IT”

  • SYSTEMIC SYMPTOMS (fever, weight loss)
  • NEUROLOGIC SYMPTOMS or abnormal signs (confusion, impaired alertness or consciousness)
  • ONSET: sudden, abrupt, or split-second (Thunderclap headache)
  • OLDER: new onset and progressive headache, especially in middle i.e. age over 50 years (giant cell arteritis)
  • PREVIOUS HEADACHE HISTORY: first headache or different (change in attack frequency, severity, or clinical features) i.e. has the pattern of headache changed?
  • Infection i.e. meningitis, encephalitis
  • Trauma

If these features are not present in your description of your headache, your headache is almost certainly one of the primary headaches and further scans are not necessary.

What are the commonest types of headache and facial pain seen at a pain clinic?

The commonest types of headache and facial pain seen at the chronic pain clinic include:

  • Tension type headaches
  • Migraines
  • Occipital neuralgia
  • Cervical pain
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Temporomandibular joint pain
  • Atypical facial pain
  • Facial migraine

What treatments can be offered for my chronic headache / facial pain?

Your chronic pain specialist will take a full history, consider any ‘red flags’ that may be present and decide if any further investigations are necessary.

You will then get a plan for the management of your headache / facial pain, tailored for your own particular needs.

Treatments that may be offered for your headache include:

  • Appropriate pharmacotherapy – using a wide range of drugs including tricyclic antidepressants (TCA’s), anti-epileptic drugs (AED’s), tryptans and NSAID’s (anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • Botulinum Toxin A (Botox) treatment (Approved for the treatment of chronic migraine)
  • Radiofrequency (RF) treatment for trigeminal neuralgia
  • Physiotherapy for cervicogenic headache
  • Cognito-behavioural therapies – can help with coping and acceptance

What is Medication Overuse Headache?

It has long been known that ergotamine, the active ingredient of many of the older migraine medications (Tryptans), can cause headache if taken too frequently. It has also recently emerged that painkillers containing codeine (i.e. co-codamol) can exacerbate headache if taken too frequently. Headache sufferers tend to take this drug up to four times per day. These are the two groups of drugs most strongly linked with medication overuse headache (MOH).

It is likely that the headache is due to a sort of withdrawal syndrome once the positive effects of each dose have worn off.

The natural reaction is to take more medication, to provide short term relief, but this can again lead to further headache after some hours. People taking high dose analgesia usually need to be seen in specialist clinics as sudden and complete withdrawal of medications may lead to a severe withdrawal headache, that can last up to between 2–10 days. This headache may come alongside other symptoms, such as anxiety. During this period, it is important to drink plenty of water to keep well hydrated.

If you would like to book an appointment or require further information on the available options, please do not hesitate to contact our private patient booking team via our online enquiry form.

Alternatively, email Kingsbridge Private Hospital

Treatment Locations

Healthcare Professionals & Consultants

Mr Michael Stafford

Consultant in Anaesthesia and Chronic Pain Medicine

Dr Niranjan Chogle

Consultant in Pain Medicine

Dr Monica Chogle

Consultant in Pain Management

Dr Thomas Peukert

Consultant Neurologist

Dr. Blayne McCann

Chronic Pain Management Consultant

Patient Journey

Find out what your journey will be from diagnosis to treatment

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Kingsbridge Help & Support

A credit or debit card is necessary to secure your booking. The card will be saved as your default payment method. You'll receive notifications regarding any outstanding balances. For details on the information we collect and process, while providing your healthcare, please refer to our privacy policy. By using this service, you consent to our privacy policy.

Continue to Kingsbridge Booking

Patient Testimonials

"I am extremely happy with the treatment, and with the standard of care I have received. There is no doubt as to whether this treatment is highly effective. I have had several cosmetic surgeries (although not on my face) but can say in comparing the results of the Spring Thread procedure with other less invasive treatments, the results are more in keeping with the surgical procedures I have had." Spring Thread Patient Review, Cosmetech at Kingsbridge Patient
"I had surgery here at the weekend and I can't recommend this place highly enough. They took great care of me and kept me at ease throughout my stay. The staff were brilliant, really friendly and chatted away and the food was top class. This hospital was better than any hotel I wonder could I book a weekend away in it when I fully recover?" Mr McGinnity, Kingsbridge Patient
"EXCELLENT - Had surgery today under the very caring Dr Stewart and her team. I cannot thank her enough for all she’s done for me over the past few months. Everything was explained to me in detail and all my care was considerate, professional and compassionate. Everyone I’ve met today has been beyond kind from Will the Anaesthetist, the Nurses and theatre staff, the catering staff - there has been no exception. Thank you all for taking care of me so well today - look forward to getting home tomorrow x" Mrs McAleavey, Kingsbridge Patient
"Hospital spotless and clean.   Staff were so caring couldn’t do enough for me and made sure I was comfortable. Give the place 10 out of 10. Had surgery yesterday and treatment was first class" Ms Demirtas, Kingsbridge Patient
"Their service was excellent and convenient location!" Ms Kneale, Kingsbridge Patient
"Just received surgery at this hospital and I couldn't have been made to feel any more comfortable from the minute I stepped in until the minute I left. All the staff are wonderful and so friendly I will highly recommend this hospital to everyone" Ms McGivern, Kingsbridge Patient
"Had eye surgery here twice for cataracts and lens replacement. Super smooth service from start to finish. Very happy" Ms Jones, Kingsbridge Patient
"As hospitals go this one is pretty amazing! Had surgery with Mr Molloy at the end of October and have another one the end of this month. Mr Molloy is a gentleman who puts you at ease right away and ensured my last procedure went smoothly! From start to finish all the hospital staff go above and beyond to make your stay as comfortable and stress free as possible. The facilities are brilliant with the rooms spacious and modern to recover in. Keep up the good work!" Ms Roulston, Kingsbridge Patient
"My mother had a total hip replacement surgery. We stayed for three days and were discharged today. Honestly, words can't describe the quality of the job and care they do. The doctors Roger Wilson, Sherman, David, the nurses Susan, Sinead, Siobhan, Andrea, the catering staff who provided customised halal food, and the remaining team whose names I cannot remember were the kindest, nicest, politest, the most caring, professional and pleasant people we have ever come across in healthcare environment. These are true gems and real stars. We are indebted to their treatment.
They are 7 star people. We love you!" Mr Yourish, Kingsbridge Patient
"Great friendly staff the nurses go way and beyond.  The hospital is spotless, and the service is second to none." Ms Croke, Kingsbridge Patient
"Currently just back from recovery on the ward. I have just had ACL reconstructive surgery on my left knee. What can I say? This place is brilliant. I arrived at 8.35am, taken to the ward at 8.45am (my admission time was 9am). Tended to by a lovely Nurse. Dr Roger Wilson spoke to me around 9.45am, in Theatre for 10am, recovery for 11.10am and now currently back on ward. These guys are awesome. From the consultant to anaesthetist to nurses to cater assistants. Absolutely brilliant. Thank you so much. I am so grateful to everyone at Kingsbridge for the service." Mr McNicholl, Kingsbridge Patient
"I just had a total hip replacement done by Mr Molloy.  He made me feel totally at ease (a real gentleman). I had 1st class treatment and as for the staff they couldn’t do enough for me. My experience was excellent from the time I arrived until the day I left for home. Thanks a million to all involved." Miss Bennett, Kingsbridge Patient
"Excellent experience with Kingsbridge Hospital, my dad had a day procedure here recently and not only did he receive fantastic care, but so did myself and my mum. The staff were so understanding and without saying anything could see I was looking after my mum also who has dementia, they went above and beyond to make the time spent waiting on my Dad as pleasant and stress free as possible, I will never forget the extra mile they went to, to support us. Many thanks x" Ms Forde, Kingsbridge Patient
"I have just been discharged from Kingsbridge today after surgery and was in for 3 days. From start to finish my experience was excellent. From catering staff up to senior nurses and doctors they were all fantastic and made my stay a positive experience. As a nurse myself I probably have high expectations of care and I certainly experienced the best of care in Kingsbridge who have staff they should be proud off.  Great teamwork." Ms Armstrong, Kingsbridge Patient
"I recently had my gall bladder removed. All of the staff I had to deal with were excellent and professional. It was the best treatment I have ever received." Ms Burrows, Kingsbridge Patient
"I got my tonsils out yesterday, all the staff were so pleasant and nothing was too much for them. I really did receive one to one care. They just had so much time for me. The food was lovely and the staff from the kitchen where first class. Glad I received my surgery here." Miss Wright, Kingsbridge Patient
"The service and staff are first class.  Had my cataract operation done on the 20th of January and I would like to thank all the staff of this fantastic hospital for giving me my life back.  You are all a credit to your profession.  Excellent service and I would highly recommend you.  Once again thank you so much and I am truly grateful to you all." Mr Doolan, Kingsbridge Patient
"Amazing 5-star hospital.  Have had other surgery here before on my back.
Yesterday's was a neck disc replacement operation.  I would highly recommend this hospital like a hotel manner. Thanks again guys." Mr Phillips, Kingsbridge Patient
"I recently got an MRI scan at Kingsbridge and was very impressed with how simple the process was and how little time I had to wait. The staff were friendly, and it was an all-round pleasant experience." Mr Sharkey, Kingsbridge Patient
"Can’t praise Kingsbridge Private Hospital enough!! I had an operation a couple of weeks ago and I was so well looked after. My surgeon Mr Rashid was fantastic, and the nursing staff was also fabulous. I found they communicated very well to each other, so everyone knew when my meds were due, my allergies etc. They were so kind, so lovely, constantly checked to see how I was i.e. my temperature etc. The food was fabulous and the catering staff very helpful having had an operation were very happy to accommodate ... Thank you to all!" Ms Cheong, Kingsbridge Patient
"Staff very friendly and very efficient. Surgeon and surgery top class. Big thanks to the Nurses for all their care and patience" Mr Howard, Kingsbridge Patient
"I was in your facility yesterday for a day procedure (operation on my left arm). I wanted to write and express how impressed I was with the facilities and more importantly the staff on the Ward.

Everyone was excellent, and I mean excellent, i don't normally write congratulatory e-mails so this is high praise in my view. The Senior nurse was excellent, as was the Theatre nurse and the anaesthetist. Even the assistants that helped with catering and other duties. All came together to form a great impression of the establishment." Jason Carpal Tunnel Surgery, Kingsbridge Patient
"Very well satisfied with everyone at my appointment - firstly with reception who were very friendly and helpful, secondly with Mr Cusick who took his time to explain everything to me and finally One2One with Rose who organised the dates for my pre op and operation. I would highly recommend Kingsbridge Private Hospital." Patient Review, Orthopaedic Clinic
"When I attended Kingsbridge Private Hospital on the 14th May for a knee replacement the care I got was fantastic from entering the door until I was discharged on the 16th May. The surgeon Mr Laurence Cusick and his team was absolutely fantastic, the nurses and the rest of the team you couldn’t ask for better and the food was very good" Paitent Review , Knee Replacement Clinic
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Help & Support

Kingsbridge Help & Support

For enquires on post operative support, cancellations, test results and payment

Click for HELP