Often misdiagnosed as a migraine a cluster headache is an intensely painful experience with the pain occurring above, behind, or around the eye on one side of the face. Often described as a drilling sensation, cluster headaches are diagnosed when the pain is accompanied by certain symptoms including watery eyes, nasal stuffiness, drooping eyelids, sweating of one side of the face, or changes in the size of the pupil.
Symptoms appear fairly rapidly with the pain peaking at around five minutes. Generally, the headache lasts from 15 to 30 minutes, however the headaches can return as many as eight times per day. These frequent attacks are cause for the cluster name. These attacks can continue for weeks or months, typically with remission periods in between clusters. The headaches are caused by a sudden dilation of the blood vessels around the fifth cranial nerve. Often, cluster headaches can lead to depression, anxiety, and exhaustion. A person may also experience neck pain or stiffness after an attack.
There is no definite cure for cluster headaches. Generally, the goal is to prevent attacks and minimize the pain. A variety of methods are used including some prescription medications, oxygen, surgery, and steroids. It has been found that cluster headaches appear seasonally. Individuals who drink or smoke heavily are also high risk factors. A recent approach involves implanting a device in the neck which stimulates the occipital nerve, which in turn stimulates the trigeminal nerve which is the nerve that causes the facial pain.
Woodlands Chiropractic believes there is another solution and our experts can help you to reduce or eliminate those excruciating cluster headaches. By having a proper upper cervical adjustment, the alignment of the area where the occipital nerve is located allows the nerve to function properly. When this is the case, it stimulates the trigeminal nerve and eliminates the pain. An alignment of the neck is vital to the nerves working as they should.
How can Woodlands Chiropractic help with cluster headaches?
Woodlands Chiropractic believes that regular chiropractic care can ward off cluster headaches by allowing your body to work together as it should. We understand how painful cluster headaches can be, and we are passionate about improving our patient’s quality of lives through good health. If you are suffering from cluster headaches, don’t lose hope! There are options available that can bring relief without the use of drugs or surgery.
Woodlands Chiropractic is a comprehensive health care clinic. Our experience and knowledge coupled with our caring approach results in a superb experience with exceptional results. Contact us at: 320-240-0300 to schedule a consultation with us, or send us a message via our online form. Don’t let cluster headaches affect your quality of life—contact Woodlands Chiropractic today!