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Northern California Headache Clinic

Northern California Headache Clinic
is a multidisciplinary, integrative, medical facility for the treatment of migraine, tension, cluster and other headache and head injury problems. We are dedicated to providing effective, personalized, lifetime headache prevention and control.

Since 1980, Kenneth Peters, M.D. and Alfred Scopp, Ph.D., have worked together in providing effective treatment to thousands of headache patients. Located in Mountain View, California, the clinic is 10 miles north of San Jose airport and 30 miles south of San Francisco airport.

The goals of the clinic are:

  • To decrease headache pain and improve quality of life through an individually tailored, effective treatment program designed to give you control of your headaches.

  • Teach lifetime headache prevention and pain control strategies.

Dr. Scopp and Dr. Peters
Dr. Peters (left) and Dr. Scopp

Initial evaluations include:

Dr. Peters: A comprehensive history, physical examination, and review of medical records. Dr. Peters will order any needed diagnostic tests and begin a treatment program which may include preventive and headache relief medications and referral to Dr. Scopp, when appropriate.

Dr. Scopp: Lifestyle prevention strategies and identification of possible environmental, stress, and nutritional precipitants of your headaches. You will be given an introduction to strategies to stop headaches at onset such as biofeedback, home practice relaxation training, and shoulder-neck exercises.

Followup treatments:

Dr. Peters will monitor your treatment progress with the aid of the headache diary and adjust your treatment medications, coordinate treatment care with other health professionals and work with you to establish an optimal preventive and headache stopping medication program based upon your treatment response.

Dr. Scopp will help you prevent and stop headaches with research substantiated behavioral medicine treatments including biofeedback, headache trigger reduction, and improved stress management.

Integrative, coordinated treatment is indicated for patients who have not achieved satisfactory headache control with medication or other treatments. Over two-thirds of previously difficult to treat headache patients show at least 50% reduction in headache burden with more comprehensive treatment. In addition, published studies show comprehensive treatment results in decreased emergency room visits, decreased future headache related medical costs, and over 90% reporting subjective improvement. Comprehensive treatment may include research supported strategies such as appropriate preventive or headache control medications combined with behavioral medicine strategies such as identification and reduction of headache triggers, biofeedback and improved stress management.

Behavioral Medicine

Behavioral medicine has been shown to both prevent and stop headaches at onset among those patients who have not achieved satisfactory treatment with medications alone. Strategies may include:

1) Biofeedback: Biofeedback is rated as “Category A” by both the American Headache Society and the American Medical Association, meaning effectiveness has been demonstrated in a large amount (more than 500 studies) of convincing research. Biofeedback training teaches the headache patient to control or reverse headache physiology to both prevent future headaches and stop headaches at onset. Long term followup studies also demonstrate less medication usage, decreased anxiety and depression and improved self-efficacy as well. Read a patient’s description of her successful biofeedback experience in controlling headache.

2). Headache trigger identification and reduction. Your headache diary along with Dr. Scopp’s 30 years experience can help you identify and reduce some the causes of your headaches, thus decreasing total headache frequency. Lifestyle factors such as biorhythms, sleep, diet, proper exercise and improved stress management may be important in your long term headache control.

3). When relevant, improving management of stress or depression can be critical in a long term headache solution program. Studies show half of all migraine headaches are preceded by stress. Changing interpretation of everyday events (cognitive behavior therapy) to decrease stressful reactions is often an important part of a long term headache prevention.


Treatment Effectiveness

Treatment Effectiveness

Numerous studies have documented the effectiveness of a coordinated, simultaneous, comprehensive approach to the treatment of intractable headache. The following bar graph documents improvement over a ninety-day time period at our clinic. ( Scopp A. and Peters K., Comprehensive Headache Treatment Cost and Treatment Effectiveness, Headache 36: 277, 1996.)


Approximately 25% of our patients have chronic daily rebound headache due to excessive use of prescription or over-the-counter analgesics. These patients must be detoxified off of these offending agents either on an outpatient basis or as an inpatient at El Camino Hospital in order to achieve therapeutic success.

Many private, PPO and HMO insurance programs accepted. Patients can be self-referred or referred by their physician.

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