Headaches are a common ailment, and nearly everyone has experienced one at least once in their lifetime. However, cluster headaches can cause a unique kind of pain and suffering. As one of the most painful kinds of headaches, cluster headaches can strike quickly. They usually come on without warning, although some people with cluster headaches may have migraine-like nausea and vision issues ahead of the pain.
An upper cervical Phoenix chiropractor understands that cluster headaches can have debilitating and life-altering effects and offers treatments that can not only cause the agonizing cluster headaches to stop but can prevent them from returning as well. Here’s how:
The Effects of Cluster Headaches
Cluster headaches may last anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours, and occur in “cluster” periods, ranging from several times a day to every other day over a 4-6 week span of time. The cluster periods are typically followed by an easing of symptoms for approximately six months to one year.
Some cluster headache sufferers describe the severe pain that often occurs on one side of the head as like a “hot poker in the eye.” Men are affected more commonly than women. Symptoms may include:
- One-sided pain
- Eyelid swelling or drooping
- Excessive eye tearing on the affected side
- Eye redness on the affected side
- Swelling around the affected eye
- Runny or stuffed up nose on the affected side
- A pale or flushed face
- Facial or forehead sweating
- Sensitivity to light and sound on the affected side
- Restlessness, rocking, pacing back and forth
The excruciating pain from a cluster headache is generally situated inside, behind, or around one eye, but may radiate out to other areas of the face, head, and neck.
Non-Invasive Treatment for Cluster Headaches
You may be wondering about how the upper cervical spine can be the root cause of many painful conditions, including cluster headaches. Well, it has to do with the proper functioning of the central nervous system. The upper cervical spine houses the brainstem and upper cervical spinal cord. When there is structural interference or injury in the upper cervical bones (vertebrae), nerves coming from the brainstem and spinal cord can become compressed and irritated. The result is not only pain but an inadequate transmission of nerve signaling to the head and the rest of the body. This can allow disease processes, like cluster headaches, to manifest.
Additionally, upper cervical spinal misalignment may increase muscular tension at the base of the skull, decreasing blood flow to the head, which can be a root cause of cluster headaches and other headaches as well. An upper cervical chiropractor will evaluate the alignment of the structures in the upper neck area, and apply a very gentle correction (NO cracking or popping) to bring the top vertebrae back into proper alignment. Once the cervical bones at the very top of the spine are restored to correct alignment, the rest of the spinal bones should fall in line, being restored to their proper alignment and function and providing whole body healing.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic of Arizona Treats Cluster Headaches
When you’re searching for help, look for an upper cervical chiropractor with expertise in relieving cluster headaches and other spine-related pain conditions. Dr. Anthony Montoya of Upper Cervical Chiropractic of Arizona is a trusted upper cervical Phoenix chiropractor who has the qualifications and experience to help eliminate your pain and provide whole body healing. Why delay when you could get lasting pain relief in just one or a few sessions? Contact Dr. Montoya today to schedule a consultation.