Suffering from frequent headaches? You are not alone. It is estimated that almost half of the adult population worldwide has had a headache at least once within the last year. Headaches can be painful, disabling, and impose a recognizable burden on sufferers.
Headache disorders, characterized by recurrent headaches, are among the most common disorders in the nervous system. The severity, symptoms, and causes vary from person to person. There are more than 150 types of headaches, including migraine, which ranks as the third most common disease in the world after dental caries and tension type headache.
The Headache Program at Cleveland Clinic Canada
Led by Neurologist and Headache Specialist Jeremy Spevick, MD, FRCPC, this program provides symptom management, treatment, and relief for patients suffering from headache disorders. The program is one year in length and includes an initial assessment at our Toronto clinic to confirm a diagnosis plus an individualized treatment plan which combines lifestyle and pharmacological components to optimize successful outcomes. Over the course of the year, patients will have access to a multidisciplinary team that includes a nurse, a psychologist, a dietitian, and a rehabilitation specialist.
Who is eligible for our headache program?
Our headache program is available to patients in Ontario who are over the age of 18. In addition:
- A referral form must be completed by your referring physician.
- An initial consultation will be conducted to determine eligibility. Patients will be screened for secondary causes, and to rule out concussion as the primary etiology of headache.
- The program is designed for individuals who are seeking a long-term program for the management of headaches.
Why choose our headache program?
We offer timely access to a neurologist with expertise in headache management and migraine-specific treatments for the initial consultation, diagnosis, and formulation of the treatment plan. Patients in this program will also have access to a nurse who is readily available to troubleshoot any issues that arise during treatment and to track progress along with a supervising neurologist. Our multidisciplinary approach ensures that patients have access to a variety of specialists and services such as psychology, nutrition, physiotherapy, imaging and other specialist referrals, if necessary.
To qualify for the headache program, you must receive a referral from your physician.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is this program one year in length?
Proper headache management requires the implementation of various lifestyle and pharmacological interventions. Assessing the efficacy and tolerability of various treatments can take time. Your team may also need to try various treatments or adjust the treatment plan over time.
Are there headache treatment options that don’t involve pills?
It is not uncommon for individuals seeking headache care to express a desire to avoid prescription medications. Medications can be one tool of headache care but may not be necessary for everyone. The program will allow individuals to examine various lifestyle aspects that may be contributing to their condition including diet, supplements, sleep, and stress. If medication is required, this can be discussed in detail with the neurologist. In addition, some individuals may be candidates for headache treatments that do not require daily use of medications including Botox or CGRP antagonists.
What is the cost of this program?
The price is $2,500 for the one-year program. This fee includes the initial assessment and follow-ups with the neurologist and nurse practitioner, as well as consultations with the dietitian, rehabilitation specialist and psychologist. Appointments with the wellness providers may be partially or fully covered by extended health insurance plans. Itemized receipts can be provided.
Can I book follow up appointments with providers such as dietitians, psychologists and rehabilitation clinicians?
Patients in the headache program are able to book a follow-up with any of the providers they have seen in the program, whether that is a one-time appointment or an ongoing treatment schedule. These follow up appointments are not included in the yearly fee for the headache program.