A new headache center opens at UC San Diego Health

Headache is one of the most common disorders of the body’s nervous system, with 60 million Americans living with chronic migraines and headaches, according to the American Academy of Neurology. For many, this disorder causes lifelong disability.

Each clinical room is equipped with green light, which has been shown to reduce symptoms of headaches, light sensitivity and anxiety.

Expanding the care provided to San Diego residents living with headaches, UC San Diego Health has opened a new multidisciplinary center that will provide specialized care for such conditions, plus migraines and long-term side effects of traumatic brain injuries.

The new UC San Diego Health Headache Center is located in Sorrento Valley at 4910 Directors Place, Suite 250, San Diego, CA 92121.

“Ten percent of primary care visits are focused on headaches and migraines, and many of these people need specialized care to improve their symptoms,” said Nina Riggins, MD, PhD, a neurologist and headache specialist at UC San Diego. Health and director of the new center. “In partnership with primary care, women’s health, interventional radiology, neurosurgery, spine and pain specialists and others, we will treat individuals dealing with severe, debilitating headaches with a targeted therapeutic approach.”

Patients will have access to both inpatient and outpatient treatment options, neuromodulation devices, nerve blocks, trigger point injections, sphenopalatine ganglion blocks, botox, otoneurology, infusion, integrative medicine such as acupuncture and other interventions.

“At this center, patients will have access to an integrated and coordinated range of care across specialties that otherwise must be navigated separately,” said James Brewer, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Neuroscience at UC San Diego School of Medicine and a neurologist at UC San Diego Health. “This center will apply UC San Diego’s innovations to the care of headache patients and train the next generation of practitioners in this new model of cross-specialty care.”

An interdisciplinary team of clinicians, surgeons, nurses, nurse practitioners and other specialists will be available to each patient. Each clinical room is equipped with green light, which has been shown to reduce symptoms of headaches, light sensitivity and anxiety.

“From the lighting to the music selection, the center has been thoughtfully and meticulously designed to provide an array of treatment options and services to our headache patients,” said Christopher Kane, MD, CEO, UC San Diego Health Physician Group . “Our health system continues to expand its services and locations in San Diego County so that our patients will have convenient access to our extraordinary teams for their healthcare needs for years to come.”

Nina Riggins

Nina Riggins, MD, PhD, a neurologist and headache specialist, is the director of the new center.

The Headache Center at UC San Diego Health is also the destination for headache and traumatic brain injury research and education. Current clinical trials include studies of new drugs, including calcitonin gene-related peptide blockers.

“We understand how challenging it can be to live with debilitating headaches, and I am so proud that we can provide our patients and the community with state-of-the-art headache care and treatment at UC San Diego Health,” said Riggins. “This center is made possible through collaboration with our primary care providers, and through this multidisciplinary approach we will achieve the best possible outcomes for our patients.”

About UC San Diego Health

UC San Diego Health consists of UC San Diego Medical Center at Hillcrest and Jacobs Medical Center, Sulpizio Cardiovascular Institute, Moores Cancer Center, Shiley Eye Institute and Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute, all in La Jolla, as well as primary care and same day services at clinics throughout Southern California. UC San Diego Health Medical Center is home to the area’s only regional burn center and one of two Level I trauma centers in the county.

To learn more about UC San Diego Health and its locations in the region, visit health.ucsd.edu.

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