Cluster Headache Treatment

Cluster Headache Treatment

Man with headacheCluster headaches are a painful condition affecting about 1% of the world’s population.

If you’ve been plagued by pain, a chiropractor may be able to provide you with a natural, effective cluster headache treatment.

All natural, drug-free chiropractic care has helped millions resolve their headaches. It’s practically routine. Find out if seeing a chiropractor could help you.

How Chiropractic Can Help

Those who suffer from cluster headaches often share one thing in common. Many have some type of structural or functional restrictions in their upper spine.

Whether it’s a slight rotation of a vertebra or the major effects of a loss of cervical curve, such distortions can irritate delicate nerves. The spinal cord can be stretched or nerve roots, as they exit the spine to service the head and face, can be irritated or chafed.

A common symptom of this underlying spinal problem? Cluster headaches.

When you meet your chiropractor on the first visit, he or she ask questions and then listen. When did your headaches start? What makes them better? What makes them worse? Have you been in a car accident or experienced other types of trauma?

If you’re a good candidate for chiropractic care you’ll receive a thorough examination. Many observe that it’s the most complete work up they’ve ever had. The purpose of this exam is to determine the exact location of any spinal misalignments and identify their neurological affects.

Your chiropractic care won’t be treating your headaches. Instead, it will address the underlying structural cause of your headaches. As the individual bones of your spine assume a more normal motion and position, symptoms subside.

That could take one visit. Or several months of care. It just depends upon your unique spinal pattern, your age, how long you had this issue and your overall health.

An Overview of Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches happen most commonly to those between the ages of 20 and 40.

Women who have cluster headaches report that the pain involved is worse than labor and delivery. A cluster headache may last from 15 minutes up to three hours.

If you are unsure whether you are experiencing cluster headaches, there are typical characteristics and symptoms involved:

  • An immediate onset. Unlike a migraine, the pain can happen immediately with no warning signals.
  • Frequent attacks. A “cluster period” can occur multiple times a day for weeks or even months at a time, with sufferers reporting one or two cluster periods per year.
  • Eye problems. The excruciating pain affects one eye, sometimes changing from one eye to the other, and can extend into the forehead, cheeks, head and neck. You may have tearing, drooping, swelling, redness or sweating in or around the affected eye.
  • Nose problems. Your nose may run or feel stuffy on the same side as the affected eye.
  • Stomach sickness. You may experience vomiting and nausea alongside your cluster headache.
  • A cyclical pattern. Cluster periods can occur seasonally or at the same time each year and can go into remission for a few months or several years. They generally occur at the same hour, most often in the night, and last for an identical length of time.

Unlike having a migraine, lying down does not help cluster headache sufferers. Instead, sufferers prefer to sit up, stand or pace restlessly during an attack.

Available Treatments for Cluster Headaches

There is no one cure for cluster headache treatment, and as such, the most common step is taking over-the-counter pain relievers.

Since the duration is so short, however, the headache is gone before the medication can take effect. Instead, it is best to seek ways to prevent a cluster headache from starting. The short-term preventative medications for cluster headaches include ergot medications, corticosteroids and numbing agent injections.

There are serious side effects to consider with these alternatives.

The long-term preventative treatments available are calcium channel blockers combined with medication usually used for bipolar disorder, lithium, to prevent seizures. Along with the risks, frequent blood testing is needed to monitor your organ function.

If all options have been exhausted, surgery that damages the nerve pathways believed to be responsible for cluster headache pain may be recommended. You can experience muscle weakness in the jaw, a loss of sensitivity in your face and head and it has not been proven to be all that successful.

There are some tips to follow that may limit your number of episodes of the severity of a cluster headache attack:

  • Eliminate afternoon or evening naps, as well as any changes in your sleeping habits.
  • Avoid the use of alcohol and tobacco during a cluster period.
  • Avoid changes in altitude, which in turn affect your oxygen levels.
  • Limit your exposure to chemical agents such as gasoline and oil-based paint.

An Overview of Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches happen most commonly to those between the ages of 20 and 40.

Women who have cluster headaches report that the pain involved is worse than labor and delivery. A cluster headache may last from 15 minutes up to three hours.

If you are unsure whether you are experiencing cluster headaches, there are typical characteristics and symptoms involved:

  • An immediate onset. Unlike a migraine, the pain can happen immediately with no warning signals.
  • Frequent attacks. A “cluster period” can occur multiple times a day for weeks or even months at a time, with sufferers reporting one or two cluster periods per year.
  • Eye problems. The excruciating pain affects one eye, sometimes changing from one eye to the other, and can extend into the forehead, cheeks, head and neck. You may have tearing, drooping, swelling, redness or sweating in or around the affected eye.
  • Nose problems. Your nose may run or feel stuffy on the same side as the affected eye.
  • Stomach sickness. You may experience vomiting and nausea alongside your cluster headache.
  • A cyclical pattern. Cluster periods can occur seasonally or at the same time each year and can go into remission for a few months or several years. They generally occur at the same hour, most often in the night, and last for an identical length of time.

Unlike having a migraine, lying down does not help cluster headache sufferers. Instead, sufferers prefer to sit up, stand or pace restlessly during an attack.

Available Treatments for Cluster Headaches

There is no one cure for cluster headache treatment, and as such, the most common step is taking over-the-counter pain relievers.

Since the duration is so short, however, the headache is gone before the medication can take effect. Instead, it is best to seek ways to prevent a cluster headache from starting. The short-term preventative medications for cluster headaches include ergot medications, corticosteroids and numbing agent injections.

There are serious side effects to consider with these alternatives.

The long-term preventative treatments available are calcium channel blockers combined with medication usually used for bipolar disorder, lithium, to prevent seizures. Along with the risks, frequent blood testing is needed to monitor your organ function.

If all options have been exhausted, surgery that damages the nerve pathways believed to be responsible for cluster headache pain may be recommended. You can experience muscle weakness in the jaw, a loss of sensitivity in your face and head and it has not been proven to be all that successful.

There are some tips to follow that may limit your number of episodes of the severity of a cluster headache attack:

  • Eliminate afternoon or evening naps, as well as any changes in your sleeping habits.
  • Avoid the use of alcohol and tobacco during a cluster period.
  • Avoid changes in altitude, which in turn affect your oxygen levels.
  • Limit your exposure to chemical agents such as gasoline and oil-based paint.

Discover a Natural Cluster Headache Treatment

You shouldn’t have to suffer through the pain or seek risky treatments that may not be what you need.

If you’re ready to get help and find an effective solution for cluster headaches, use our helpful guide to locate a chiropractor near you.

Choose natural. Choose chiropractic!

Find a Chiropractor