Cluster Headaches

Symptoms by body part:

Ear
Acute Pain
Frontal Sinus/Cranium (Head)
Acute Pain
Occipital region (Base of Skull)
Headache Pain
Orbit (Eye)
Stabbing Pain

Cluster Headaches, aka Histamine Headache, are a form of neurovascular headaches

Little is known as to the cause of these types of headaches, but what is well known at our practice is how we can fix them.  Most commonly, the cause is related to the C1 vertebra shifting laterally becoming restricted, tightening muscles in that region, promoting inflammation and increased pressure.  This causes compression of nerves and blood vessels (neurovascular component) that are exiting the base of the skull and traversing the scalp as they supply and control cutaneous sensation to and from the head.  Thus, a problem in this area would irritate nerves and compress blood vessels causing intense pain in the back of the head and/or below the ear, along the scalp and into the orbital region.  The compression of the blood vessels and nerves impedes blood flow, and thus oxygen, to sensitive regions around the orbit, which is why pure oxygen is often the only therapy that will temporarily alleviate pain in these individuals.  As you will see below, our therapy reduces strain on the neurovasculature, as well as increasing oxygenation through rib expansion, so as to provide normal blood flow to the orbital structures.   Many of these patients have seen multiple practitioners with little to no help, yet we maintain a very high success rate with many individuals.  There are other pathological causes, but when those have been ruled out and it has been determined that the source of an individual’s symptoms are structural,  our treatment offers fast and life-changing results as these patients can sometimes be to the level of suicidal pain when initially seek treatment.

Common Characteristics among Cluster Headaches

  • Active Males with one sided headache
  • Occur seasonally, but can last indefinitely
  • Improved with oxygen therapy
  • Often experiencing some sort of injury that may have been the predecessor for their discomfort.
  • Two types:  Episodic headaches that are brief in nature, or chronic, which are ongoing.

Common Symptoms

  • Intense, sharp pain behind one eye (feels as if someone is driving an ice pick in your eye socket)
  • Pain at the base of the skull, towards one side
  • Pain behind the ear
  • Pain down the neck and into the upper back, one sided
  • Usually not treated successfully with medication 
  • Multiple headaches occur with brief intermission
  • Lacrimation (tearing), nasal congestion, eye lid drooping (ptosis), constriction of pupil (miosis), and lid swelling (edema) of the affected sided