Cranial Disorders

Treating occipital headaches and trigeminal neuralgia

Pain affecting the head and face

There are many causes for pain affecting the head and face. In general, headaches and migraines have treatments that require only medication. However, there are some types of severe head and facial pains that are resistant to medication and respond well only to surgical treatments.

Occipital headaches, particularly those arising after a motor vehicle accident or other trauma, can be due to pinched nerves at the back of the skull. Intermittent severe headaches, made worse by looking up and spreading into the shoulders may be caused by pressure at the base of the skull — Foramen Magnum Syndrome (Arnold chiari Type I), while severe intermittent facial pains are often due to Trigeminal Neuralgia (Tic Doloreux) in which a small artery near the brain is irritating the nerve for the face. Treatments for these conditions can include injections or surgery that offer the only means of controlling or ending the pain.

The treatment for occipital neuralgia headaches has been transformed by Dr. Aaron Filler into a simple outpatient procedure than can permanently relieve severe pains. Use of advanced imaging techniques, including Open MRI, has helped Dr. Filler design new safer, more accurate treatments for several types of cranial pain disorders.

To request an appointment with Dr. Filler and the Institute for Nerve Medicine, please complete the contact form on this page.

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Request an appointment with Dr. Aaron Filler

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Dr. Aaron G. Filler, MD PhD JD FRCS

Medical Director, Institute for Nerve Medicine
Santa Monica, California

Dr. Aaron Filler is the world’s leading expert in the treatment of nerve pain, revolutionizing this area of medicine by inventing several new technologies. One such technology, MR Neurography, enables doctors to use an MRI scanner to examine nerves, previously a difficult-to-impossible tissue to visualize with MR imaging. Dr. Filler’s research in axonal transport is leading to a whole new generation of advanced pain medications. He has developed many new “minimal access” surgery methods that allow him to treat complex nerve problems with small outpatient surgeries. He has also pioneered the use of the Open MRI scanner to do surgeries and other therapies with the ultra-high precision and safety of the magnetic resonance imaging.

Dr. Aaron Filler combines three key components in his treatment of each patient:

  • Compassionate personal attention,
  • Expert medical skills, and
  • The best technology in the world

He combines these components to turn insoluble pain problems into specific treatable diagnoses. Prior to coming to the Institute for Nerve Medicine, many of Dr. Filler’s patients have seen a dozen doctors (or more), experienced failed surgeries, and have even had their very pain questioned.

Time and again, Dr. Filler demonstrates that in many of these cases the problem is the doctor and not the patient. A cure is in reach when the best available medical care is brought to bear.

Insurance and Payment Options

Questions about what insurance plans the Institute for Nerve Medicine accepts?

We accept all insurance plans (including PPO, POS, etc.) that include out-of-network benefits.

We have opted out of Medicare.

We do not insurance-bill any worker’s compensation plan.

We provide interest-free monthly payment plans for patients with insurance plans that do not fully cover costs of out-of-network and specialty medical services.

We accept all major forms of payment: VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, personal checks and cash (US currency). We do not accept foreign currencies (e.g. Euro).

We work with patients of every budget level and want all patients to have access to the best expert care in this field. Accordingly, billing services are offered as a courtesy to all patients.

More questions? Call us at 310-314-6410.