The first center of its kind on the West Coast, the UCSF Headache Center provides comprehensive care to relieve the most debilitating headaches. We offer outpatient consultative care as well as inpatient hospital treatment for those who need it. In addition, the center conducts research, exploring the mechanisms of headaches and how existing and new treatments might provide relief.
Our specialists work closely with you and your primary care team to develop an effective long-term treatment plan. When appropriate, we work with experts in neurosurgery, otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) and ophthalmology (eyes and vision). We also work with specialists at the Osher Center for Integrative Health, which combines conventional and alternative medicine, such as acupuncture, herbs, massage and meditation, for treating headaches.
We treat patients and families with the utmost respect and compassion, with sensitivity to the diverse places and cultures from which our patients come.
Pediatric patients are seen at the UCSF Pediatric Headache Center.
Patients with pain in the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) are treated at the UCSF Center for Orofacial Pain and Dental Sleep Medicine. For more information and appointments, call (415) 476-8298.
Patients with sinus pain are treated at the UCSF Sinus Center. For more information and appointments, call (415) 353-2757.
We have full accreditation from the United Council of Neurological Subspecialties and are part of the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences.
The UCSF Headache Center is able to provide consultations for patients in our region, as well as nationally and internationally. We only require a referral and recent medical records from the primary medical or neurological team and insurance information. Patients will be seen virtually by Dr. Levin or one of his associates. A complete consultation note will be sent to your primary care provider and/or neurologist with detailed recommendations for diagnostic testing (if warranted) and specific management suggestions including medications, pain procedures and neuromodulation techniques. Call (415) 353-8393 to make a telemedicine appointment.
Sarah M. Bobker
MD, PhDNeurologist and pain medicine specialist
RN, MSNurse coordinator
FNP, MSNNurse practitioner
NP, MSNNurse practitioner
Prospective cohort study defining the natural history and progression of headaches
Long-term observational study to understand disease onset, progression, and determine better treatments for migraine and headache
Identification of ingredients in red wine which trigger migraine headaches
Investigation of migraine provocation by red wine
Relaxation and Integrative Therapy Techniques in Migraine (RITTIM)
Assessing if relaxation techniques improve migraine outcomes
Our research initiatives
UCSF Headache Center Research
The UCSF Headache Center conducts research on a variety of therapies for headaches, enrolling patients who are great candidates and using their study findings to shape clinical practice.
Awards & recognition
Among the top hospitals in the nation
Best in California and No. 2 in the nation for neurology & neurosurgery
Plan your visit
What to Expect
- At your first visit, you'll meet with a neurologist who specializes in headache medicine. This doctor will obtain a detailed history, perform a head and neck as well as a neurological examination, assess the cause of your headaches, and offer treatment options.
- Because UCSF is a major, internationally known medical training center, you may see physicians in specialty training (residents and fellows) who are under the supervision of one of our faculty.
- At follow-up visits, you'll be seen either by one of our neurologists or, occasionally, by a nurse practitioner. Your primary care provider will also participate in your ongoing care.