Cluster headaches are often confused with migraine clusters. Though a few symptoms set them apart, it does not make cluster headaches less annoying or painful. Cluster headaches are a headache disorder affecting about 1 to 2 out of every 1,000 individuals.
They are a series of short and extremely painful headaches that occur every day from weeks up to months at a time. These headaches can last from 15 to an excruciating 180 minutes that focus on one side of the head.
Cluster headaches do not have to continue being a burden and a natural treatment for cluster headaches does exist.
What is the Difference Between Cluster Headaches and Migraine Clusters?
Before listing the symptoms of cluster headaches, we will go over the difference between cluster headaches and migraine clusters. The following symptoms are found in migraine clusters:
- Sensitivity to light, sound, and smell
- Throbbing or pulsing sensation
A migraine will also bring about the following symptoms that occur before it hits:
- Change in mood
- Increased thirst
- Stiffness in neck
As with cluster headaches, cluster headaches typically happen in cycles of weeks or months. The pain associated with cluster headaches are extremely painful and is situated on one side of the head.
When comparing cluster headaches to migraines, they do not last as long as migraines do. While cluster headaches are short bursts of headaches that come “in and out”, migraines can last for hours are a time.
The cause of cluster headaches is not exactly clear, while hormones seem to have a link with causing migraines. Those who suffer from cluster headaches can begin to become agitated during the experience and find it hard to keep still. When suffering from a migraine, the sufferer prefers dark, quiet rooms.
Cluster Headache Symptoms
Now that we know the difference in cluster headaches and migraine clusters, what exactly are the symptoms found in cluster headaches?
When it comes to cluster headaches, the pain is located on side of the head. This pain from cluster headaches is severe and can sometimes move towards the back of the head. The following symptoms may occur on the same side of the pain the person experiences during the cluster headache:
- Nasal congestion
- Sweating on forehead or the face
- Small pupil size
- Tearing or watering of the eye
- Red eye
- Swelling of the eyelid
- Runny nose
- Drooping of the eyelid
Is There a Natural Treatment for Cluster Headaches?
Most treatments for cluster headaches result to taking injections, prescription drugs, preventive medication, oxygen, nasal spray, and, if all else fails, surgery. However, since the cause of cluster headaches is unclear, these treatments revolve around targeting the symptoms of your cluster headaches instead of permanently fixing the cause.
Nonetheless, even though there is no known cause of cluster headaches, it does not mean an effective natural treatment does not exist. While the unnatural treatments try reducing the symptoms, they work by forcefully altering your body’s natural response.
Surgical procedures for cluster headaches depend on blocking your trigeminal nerve. This nerve is a pathway for pain and controls the area around your eye. If the trigeminal nerve is injured, there could be a loss of sensation to the head and face.
The most recommended treatment for cluster headaches is one that helps your body’s health improve and strengthen from the inside to alleviate the symptoms and diminish the occurrence of cluster headaches. To do this, we need to look to the upper cervical spine.
Upper Cervical: A Safe and Effective Cluster Headache Treatment?
The brain stem is in your upper cervical spine, along with nerves that can cause false sense of pain and, believe it or not, cause migraines and headaches to occur. When one of the top two bones of your spine, known as your upper cervical spine, are knocked out of alignment, they can press up against the brain stem and surrounding nerves.
Pressure placed on your brain stem can cause a disruption to your natural brain to body communication – making it to where signals sent are misinterpreted or fail to send. When this happens, the body’s natural response is negatively affected – causing bodily issues that can lead to the onset of different conditions you might have never had before.
In addition, this pressure can reduce the amount of blood, oxygen, sent to the brain. This can cause headaches and migraines to become an issue. Although cluster headaches have no known cause, those who suffered from cluster headaches notice an improvement to their condition after having this pressure removed from the brain stem area.
When we look at surgical procedures for cluster headaches, which are considered the treatment used as a “last resort”, these procedures look to blocking the trigeminal nerve.
Trigeminal neuralgia, a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, responds extremely well to upper cervical treatments. This is because the trigeminal nerve can be affected by the upper cervical spine if a vertebra falls out of alignment and causes pressure.
If upper cervical alignments help the trigeminal nerve function properly and surgical procedures for cluster headaches look to blocking the trigeminal nerve, we start to see why upper cervical alignments for cluster headache treatments make sense and have seen positive results from those who have experienced cluster headaches.
For migraine sufferers, upper cervical treatments have helped many of them. Even those that have had chronic migraines have seen great improvement. Some patients with cluster migraines have not had a migraine attack until years after an upper cervical alignment while others still have not had them return at all.
Upper cervical corrections have helped the trigeminal nerve, headaches, and migraine sufferers. To know that surgical procedures used as a last resort for cluster headaches result in blocking the trigeminal nerve (and issues with the trigeminal nerve can cause headaches and migraines), it makes sense as to why upper cervical corrections can work as an effective cluster headache treatment.