Cluster headaches, which occur in cyclical patterns or cluster periods, are one of the most painful types of headache.
Cluster headaches are a series of relatively short but very painful headaches every day for weeks or months at a time. They tend to come at the same time each year, such as in the spring or fall. Because of this, people often mistake cluster headaches for symptoms of allergies or work stress. Experts don’t know what causes them, but a nerve in your face is involved, creating intense pain around one of your eyes. It’s so bad that most people can’t sit still and will often pace during an attack. Cluster headaches can be more severe than a migraine, but they usually don’t last as long. These are the least common type of headaches, affecting fewer than one in 1,000 people. Men get them more than women do. You usually start getting them before age 30. Cluster headaches may go away completely (this is called going into remission) for months or years, but they can come back without any warning.
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These are common symptoms of a cluster headache:
- Sudden onset of pain, generally around or behind the eye
- Pain builds to a peak in about 10 to 15 minutes
- Restlessness or agitation
- Red or watering eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Sweating on the forehead
- Eyelid drooping or swelling
The appropriate chiropractic treatment is unique to each case of cluster headaches and is directed at the primary dysfunctions detected during the chiropractic exam.