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Headaches and Migraines Santa Monica, CA

Today’s world is full of stress and anxiety, so it is no wonder that millions of people experience some type of headache every day. From the annoyance of a tension headache to the disability migraines can impose on some sufferers, headaches are one of America’s most common health issues.

There are several causes for a headache. Some are minor and do not require treatment, while others can indicate a serious underlying condition that could be life-threatening. Headaches can be the result of stress or emotional distress. High blood pressure, anxiety and depression can also cause headaches. Migraine headaches can completely disable a person for a time.

Headaches are categorized as primary or secondary by the International Headache Society (IHS). Primary headaches are not caused by some other condition. They are the result of overactivity or problems with pain-sensitive structures in the head. A problem with blood vessels, muscles or nerves in the head or neck can lead to a primary headache. Changes in the chemical activity of the brain can also cause primary headaches. Common primary headaches include migraines, tension headaches and cluster headaches.

Secondary headaches are the result of another condition that stimulates the pain-sensitive nerves in the head. These headaches can be attributed to causes such as:

  • Concussion
  • Dehydration
  • Alcohol-induced hangover
  • Brain tumor
  • Blood clots
  • “Brain freeze,” brought on by ice or ice cream
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Stroke
  • Grinding or clenching teeth

This list is not exhaustive, and as you can see, some causes are minor or temporary and others are quite serious. Treatment for the headache depends on the cause.

When to See Your Doctor

Most headaches can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers. When you have a headache with other symptoms, you should call 9-1-1 or make an appointment to see your doctor. Symptoms requiring an emergency call include severe headache with:

  • Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Fever higher than 102 F
  • Stiff neck
  • Numbness, weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
  • Trouble with speaking, walking or vision
  • Unexplained nausea or vomiting

Schedule a visit to your doctor if you have headaches that are increasing in frequency or are more severe than usual. If your headaches are impacting your daily activities, not responding to your usual medication or you are unable to control them, contact your doctor for help.

Dr. Michael can help you gain control over your headaches. Schedule a visit for an exam and start getting relief from your headache pain.

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Our Patient Reviews

Brent J. Michael, MD

4.7 / 5.0

Based on 34 reviews

Tammy Siever

Dr. Michael is the most Caring Dr. I have had the privilege of having taking care of my health needs. His calm and personal demeanor is above and beyond what I have ever experienced. I have never had issues with the the waiting time but, if ever I did I would not complain because he is worth the wait. I get his complete attention the entire visit. When I leave I feel very confident that he has completely covered my heath needs from head to toe. I would recommend him to anyone who wants is concerned or wants a Dr. to be concerned about their health.

Gianpaolo von Nacher

Dr. Michael has been our family doctor for over 10 years. He has always been the main pillar in our family care; specially a few years ago when my father wouldn’t have been able to get through a very difficult period without his care. He always goes the extra mile. His staff is amazing. Anita, his nurse, always efficient, loving and caring. Aileen, in the front desk, always responsive and helpful. I’m very grateful to have them on our side.

Mark B

I could literally write pages about Dr. Michael. I thankfully met him and his staff over 13 years ago after I had been suffering from a serious lung infection for over a month that 2 other doctors had missed.- 1 due to being totally arrogant and thinking I just had a cold. I was burning up and so sick I could barely walk. Dr. Michael took the time and actually listened to me - instead of just saying its probably just the flu (as the other doctors had done) or just a cold and sending me home, he actually did a complete physical on me an then had the intuition to order a chest x ray on me (I was not even coughing at the time) and then really looked at it and discovered that I actually had a really serious lung infection and started me on antibiotics. While this may sound like no big deal - it actually was, as he actually saw that it was not a normal looking lung infection and I later learned he went above and beyond and had a infectious disease specialist look at the x ray just to be safe and as he suspected it was even more serious. Since that day he has always been my main doctor. I would also like to add that I have a serious long term health condition and most doctors would generally attribute many of my current and past health issues to my main condition (it usually is the case) but Dr. Michael always looks at whatever is happening to me at the moment as if I was a new patient. This is probably his biggest talent and gift as a doctor as he has on more than one occasion over the years thought outside the box with me and has figured out quickly why I was sick at the time - sometimes it was minor but more than a few times it was really serious. His quick way of thinking and knowledge and intuition is what kept me from getting sicker and going into the hospital. If you are looking for a doctor that actually treats you like a person and not a number then see this man. I am not a celebrity or a wealthy person - far from it - but he treats me like I am - many Vets like myself go to the VA and its a great blessing but I just do not have the energy to go there as its so big. Dr. Michael is seriously brilliant and really patient and I am truly thankful I found him.

Edward Dragavon

Dr. Michael takes the time to explain the meaning of medical terms and test results in a way that a lay person can understand. He is very thorough and answers any question that you may have. His staff is also very professional and competent at their tasks. Given a choice, I wouldn't go anywhere else.

Tim Whalen

Dr. Michael is an intelligent caring human being who is focused on positive outcomes. He has a great ability to synthesize the details of lab results and other tests into preventive measures. I greatly respect his approach to care.

William Barry

A very smart and caring doctor. Very intuitive and yet he will base his decisions on test data. Patient for over 10 years. 5 stars

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logo Brent J. Michael, MD Santa Monica, CA

Brent J. Michael, MD

2001 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 880W
Santa Monica, CA 90404



Mon-Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM