If you’re prone to cluster headache attacks – searing headaches that tend to arise on one side of the head or around the eye and cause sensitivity to light – you’ll know how significantly symptoms can impede your day-to-day functioning.
Cluster headaches are more common in men and come in two forms: chronic cluster headache and acute cluster headache. People with the chronic form experience cluster headaches frequently, whether that be several times per day or every other day. For those with acute cluster headaches, attacks occur more sporadically, and sufferers may experience pain-free periods that last for years.
The good news about cluster headaches is that they are not life-threatening. The symptoms and severe pain associated with cluster headaches occur as a result of issues with the nerves that pass through the spinal column, including the occipital nerve. When pinched or compressed, these nerves can cause serious pain on one side of the head. The intense pain usually subsides once the nerves get back to normal.
It is still not completely clear why cluster headaches occur. However, scientists believe they may be triggered by disruptions to the body’s circadian rhythm (biological clock). In other words, the more sleep deprived you are, the more likely you are to experience a cluster headache.
What are the treatment options for cluster headaches?
Effective treatment of cluster headaches can be difficult to find. Medical advice offered by your doctor may include pain relief or stress reduction methods that don’t necessarily address the issue. However, at Vitality Chiropractic Centres, we believe that chiropractic care represents one of the best long-term solutions available to reduce the number of cluster headaches you experience and help you feel great every day.
How chiropractic works for cluster headaches
Chiropractic adjustments may help to support and restore central nervous system function, thereby reducing pressure on the occipital nerve and trigeminal nerve.
How effective are the results?
As with all headache disorders, individuals respond differently to certain techniques. While it is impossible to guarantee a completely pain-free life following chiropractic work, undergoing care is likely to reduce the number of cluster headaches experienced over several weeks or months.
Can cluster headaches resolve themselves?
It is possible for cluster headache attacks to go away on their own. However, people who have experienced the issue for months or years should seek care to improve their quality of life.
It is possible for people with cluster headache issues to experience remission periods, although this can take months or years of care. To boost your chances of fighting episodic cluster headaches, it is important to persist with check-ups.
Cluster headaches get more difficult the older you get. In this way, it is important to consult a chiropractor as soon as you start experiencing symptoms such as pain in the side of the head or around the eye.
What are the symptoms of a cluster headache?
Anyone who has ever experienced a cluster headache will tell you that they are severely unpleasant, causing unbearable pain that lasts anywhere from 15 minutes to a grueling 3 hours.
The pain is usually found near the temple or side of the head and can return several times a day, potentially even disrupting a person’s life for weeks or months at a time.
Many people with chronic cluster headaches report drastic seasonal variations, with most experiencing flare-ups during fall or spring.
What is the primary cause of cluster headaches?
The precise cause behind cluster headaches is still up for debate. However, some scientists believe that problems begin in the hypothalamus. Unlike other types of headaches, which often occur due to triggers such as hormones, stress, or food, cluster headaches are more commonly associated with medications such as nitroglycerin. Medical advice also states that cluster headaches can be made worse by alcohol, so sufferers should avoid drinking during an attack.
Cluster headaches usually occur in people with the following risk factors:
- Being aged between 20 and 50
- Being a man
- Having a family history of cluster headaches
- Smoking regularly
Cluster headaches are rare, with only around one in every 1,000 people experiencing them in a lifetime. Although most sufferers are adults, they can very occasionally occur in children.
How do chiropractors diagnose cluster headaches?
A diagnosis of cluster headaches will usually depend on the severity, location, and frequency of your attacks. There are several approaches your chiropractor will take when coming up with a diagnosis. Some may be able to make a judgment purely based on the description of your symptoms, while others may refer you for a neurological examination or imaging tests such as a CT or MRI scan.
Although visiting a chiropractor may seem a little daunting, discussing your treatment options with a professional could help to reduce the frequency of your cluster headaches and transform your quality of life.
Although it may be tempting to seek pharmaceutical treatments as your first port of call, many medications come with uncomfortable side effects and may only be short term. If you’re looking for a safe and natural way to manage your pain, chiropractic solutions represent the best option.
Reach out to Vitality Chiropractic for cluster headaches
If you or a loved one suffer from debilitating cluster headaches and desire long-term solutions, our team of expert chiropractors is here to help. Our natural approach can reduce pain and potentially even help you on the road to remission. Of course, the sooner you are able to start the better.
Get in touch with Vitality Chiropractic today if you’re ready to wave goodbye to uncomfortable headaches. One of our Chiropractors will happily schedule a complimentary consultation with you. Simply call +65 8438 9550 or email email@example.com and one of our friendly customer service team members will get back to you. Alternatively, feel free to send a secure request via our handy contact form below. We look forward to hearing from you.
Shaan Rai (Chiropractic, Singapore)
Shaan (UK) is based in Singapore. He is a GCC registered Singapore Chiropractor, completing a 5 year course at AECC, attaining his Masters in Chiropractic. His career has been specialised in neurological cases, such as migraines and vertigo. He is the Chairman for Outreach and Charity for Alliance of Chiropractic (AoC) and is a founder of Vitality Chiropractic Singapore and the NeuroPro method, combining Upper Cervical techniques with Functional Neurology Rehab.