As the name implies, cluster headaches are a type of headache that tends to recur in a specific pattern. Each episode tends to be relatively short, ranging from around 5 to 10 minutes. However, these could reoccur several times in one year.
Many patients who come to NUCCA doctors for headache chiropractic adjustments describe their cluster headaches as a drilling sensation. Sometimes, the pain is so extreme that women claim it’s worse than childbirth.
Similar to migraines, this type of headache often occurs on one side of the head. However, some note that it could affect both sides too. It often happens at night time, depriving you of a good night’s sleep. It could disappear after a while but can come back after a few months.
Thankfully, while it causes severe and debilitating pain, it’s a rare condition. It only affects 0.1 percent of the population. Let’s try to learn more about cluster headaches and how you can cope with the pain that it causes.
Cluster Headaches and the Associated Symptoms
The worst part about any severe form of headache, such as cluster headaches, is that they come without any warning. It could happen before you go to bed or sometimes while you’re sleeping. It can also occur with symptoms like visual aura or nausea.
Here are other common symptoms that you might observe during a cluster headache episode:
- Unbearable pain around or behind your eye that could spread to your face, neck, head, and shoulders
- Stabbing unilateral pain in your head
- Excessive sweating on your face or forehead
- Flushing or pale facial skin
- Runny or congested nose
- Eye redness
- Droopy eyelid
- Eye swelling
Some people mistaken cluster headaches for migraines. It’s because many experience symptoms associated with migraines such as sensitivity to sound and light while having cluster headaches. Patients experiencing either cluster headaches and migraines can seek lasting benefit with a headache chiropractic adjustment.
How long can cluster headaches persist?
Besides learning about cluster headache symptoms, knowing about how often your symptoms occur and reoccur could make a difference in your life. Does it happen regularly? Do you observe a pattern? If your answer to both questions is yes, then you refer to your regular headache attacks as a cluster period.
Some patients have a cluster period reaching up to 12 weeks. Others only last up to six weeks. You might also notice an increased frequency of your cluster headaches during the fall or spring season.
Cluster headaches can also occur for an entire week or year then disappears briefly before attacking again. If your pattern sounds similar to this, then you may be having episodic cluster headaches.
Some folks also have the chronic type with more extended cluster periods lasting from a year with only a month-long remission and pain-free stage.
Below are several common indicators that you have a cluster period:
- Your attack lasts anywhere from 15 minutes to as long as 3 hours.
- You notice a repetitive pattern of your attacks.
- Your headaches occur 2 hours after you sleep.
- Headaches bother you a lot, sometimes you experience them more than once each day.
- As soon as your pain starts kicking in, you also feel a quick decrease in the pain’s intensity.
- Even after your episodes, you feel incredibly lethargic.
Who’s at higher risk of developing cluster headaches?
- People aged 20 to 50 years old
- Alcoholics and smokers
- People with family members that also have cluster headaches
What causes cluster headaches?
While hormonal fluctuations, alcohol intake, nitroglycerin intake, and stress can trigger cluster headaches, they don’t necessarily cause the condition.
Now, you may be wondering, where does a headache chiropractic adjustment fit in the picture? Can you see a difference in your symptoms if you receive the NUCCA procedure? The answer to these questions lies in the possible cause of your cluster headaches – neck bone misalignment.
A slight change in your upper neck bone’s position could trigger all kinds of mishaps. For example, it can affect your brain function. Misalignments in the upper neck can also affect your brainstem, a part of your Central nervous system located at the base of your skull.
Headache Chiropractic Adjustments – A Natural Relief for Headaches
Dealing with cluster headaches can be challenging. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to find lasting and effective headache relief. You can try a variety of natural methods, such as having a headache chiropractic adjustment in a NUCCA chiropractic office.
By correcting bone misalignments caused by an injury like whiplash, you may be able to relieve pressure and stress on the brainstem and the rest of your spine and CNS. It’s a gradual and gentle process that aims to help your body heal more effectively.
A NUCCA chiropractor thoroughly evaluates the alignment of your spine to determine the type of adjustment needed. With each session, you will likely notice vast improvements in your condition, allowing you to get back to doing what you love.
Want to see if NUCCA care can help you with your persistent cluster headaches? Check out the available NUCCA doctors near you today and book a consultation to answer your questions.