Explore This Treatment Program

Overview

The medical staff at the Headache and Neuropathic Pain Unit treats the following conditions:

  • Primary headache: migraine, tension type headache, trigeminal autonomic cephalagias
  • Secondary headache: headache from craniofacial structure, cervical pathology, and CNS lesions.
  • Facial pain: facial neuralgias and atypical facial pain
  • Radicular pain
  • Plexopathic pain
  • Painful peripheral neuropathy
  • Myelopathic pain
  • Central pain syndrome (headache and pain from stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain tumor, CNS infectious and inflammatory diseases)

Individualized treatment is tailored for each patient with the goal to reduce severity and frequency of his or her headache or neuropathic pain. We have an expert team of physicians and nurse practitioner who understand the impact of head and neuropathic pain on the lives of the patients and their families.

What to Expect

If you have headache and neuropathic pain, a referral with medical records from your primary care physician or specialist is required for scheduling an appointment. Our clinical staff will triage the referral and schedule appointment according to its urgency. We do not treat non-neuropathic painful conditions (such as pain from soft tissue, joint, or bone injuries, psychological/functional pain, or pain associated with drug abuse/addiction). Once the referral is accepted, our patient coordinator will call you to schedule an appointment. Please bring copies of your medical records, test reports and digital copy of brain MRI or CT images on a CD for our review.

At your first appointment, you will receive a detailed physical and neurological examination by one of our specialists. According to your medical history and exam findings, your headache and pain specialist will consider further diagnostic workup and tailor an individualized treatment plan for you. Recommendations on pharmacologic and nonpharmacolgic interventions are made whenever possible to maximize pain management. We do not prescribe opioid medications. We will schedule follow up appointments if you are referred by a Mass General provider or continuity care is considered necessary by your specialists.

Multidisciplinary Teamwork

We work with a network of services to optimize care for patients with headache and neuropathic pain. We may consult them for the following reasons:

  • Mass General Pain Management Center: epidural steroid injections, facet joint injections, radiofrequency ablation procedures, spinal cord or peripheral nerve stimulators
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: Management of temporomandibular joint diseases, dental and oral procedures
  • Psychiatry: Pain psychology evaluation and interventions
  • Neurosurgery: cerebral aneurysm, microvascular decompression and Gamma knife treatments for trigeminal neuralgia, spine surgery, brain tumors, pseudotumor cerebri
  • Migraine surgery: nerve decompression procedures
  • Physical therapy: evaluation and treatment of posture, neck pain, and ergonomics
  • Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine: Biofeedback, relaxation techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Mass General Wellness Center: Acupuncture, stress reduction techniques

 


Our Nurse Practitioner

Jennifer Cheng, NP, is a pain fellowship trained and certified nurse practitioner with an extensive background in headache and pain management, palliative care, and psychiatry. She collaborates with headache physicians for continuity of patient’s care. Her roles include medication review, dose adjustment, making referrals for multidisciplinary needs, and providing patient education. She also performs peripheral nerve blocks and trigger point injections.