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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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Ashly Tucker

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Dr. Michael is a brilliant, compassionate doctor who listens and cares for his patient. I have never experienced this quality of medical care anywhere. The staff was very accommodating and made me feel very comfortable. He is the best family physician that we have ever had.

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Dr. Michael is not your average doctor. I feel fortunate to have enjoyed Dr. Michael as my primary GP for over 6 years and have found him to be extremely trustworthy, personable, knowledgeable, honest, thorough, compassionate and non-judgmental. He takes the time to talk to you and to listen to all of your concerns. Dr. Michael is someone you can talk with and he really cares about each one of his patients. He listens and provides suggestions. A patient couldn't ask for a more caring physician than Dr. Michael. The entire office staff is extremely friendly, personable and accommodating. Dr. Michael is a great doctor, mentor and friend. I'm glad I have him as my primary care provider! I am forever grateful to Dr. Michael and strongly recommend him to anyone who desires personalized care.

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Dr. Michael takes time to listen, diagnose, and prescribe the best treatment possible. He made me feel comfortable talking to him about all of my health concerns and I left my appointment with answers to all of my questions. Dr Michael really understood what I was feeling both emotionally and physically and communicated that understanding to me.

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Dr. Michaels is easy to talk to, down-to-earth as well as smart and competent. It feels more like you’re getting good advice from a personal friend who is also a licensed physician. I have been recommending him to friends and family for years now and with absolutely no complaints. He is always able to fit me into his schedule and help me as promptly as possible. I haven’t had to wait more than twenty minutes after checking in to see him. He is very knowledgeable and polite and is willing to answer all of my questions without being rude or cold.

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logo Brent J. Michael, MD Santa Monica, CA

Brent J. Michael, MD

2001 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 1260W
Santa Monica, CA 90404



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