What are Cluster Headaches?
Cluster Headaches are one-sided headaches which occur in cyclic patterns or clusters and are marked by the tearing of the eyes and stuffy nose. It is amongst the most agonizing and traumatic types of pain. Such headaches occur at the same time every year and is much more painful if it strikes you at night as compared to the day time. Episodes of pain occur constantly for one week to one year.
Who normally get affected by Cluster Headaches?
Men are at higher risk of getting affected by Cluster Headaches than women. These headaches can strike at any age but are more likely to occur at adolescent or middle age. These are commonly inherent and are transmitted through genes.
What triggers Cluster Headaches?
The exact causes of Cluster Headaches are still not known to the physicians, but the following are considered as the potential causes of Cluster Headaches:
- Sudden release of Histamine or Serotonin
- In taking alcohol or Smoking cigarettes
- Bright Lights
- Nitrites rich food
- Stress and Anxiety
- Season(common in spring or autumn)
What are the symptoms associated with Cluster Headaches?
These headaches arise frequently and without any warning signals but the pain most commonly attacks 2 or 3 hrs. after you fall asleep. Following can be enlisted as the signs and symptoms of Cluster Headaches:
- Excessive or throbbing pain; commonly concentrated around or in one eye
- One sided pain; from neck to temples
- Excessive Tearing
- Redness in the affected side eye
- One sided runny nose
- Swelling around the affected side eye
- Drooping eyelids
What are the treatments available for Cluster Headaches?
Physicians adopt two types of techniques to treat Cluster Headaches viz.
- Abortive Medications: These medications are prescribed to treat pain when it strikes. Imitrex or some other triptans are prescribed to subside pain when it occurs. At times, oxygen therapy is also administered, where you have to inhale oxygen through face mask.
- Preventive Medications : These medicines are prescribed by your doctor to minimize the time duration of cluster headaches and to reduce the severity of pain during cluster headaches.
How Physical Therapists can help to treat Cluster Headaches?
Physical Therapists can assist you in getting rid of your Cluster Headaches beyond medications. Practicing exercises under the surveillance of an expert and trained Physical Therapist can enable you to relax muscle tension and as well to relieve stress. Physical Therapists prescribe following exercises to treat Cluster Headaches :
- Physical Therapists administer various relaxation techniques to help you to relax the muscles of your neck, jaw and shoulders. Progressive Relaxation techniques are also administered and practiced to relax each and every muscle of your body.
- Cluster Headaches occur due to stress. Your breathing patterns get disturbed, when you are stressed. So to alter these disrupted breathing patterns, Physical Therapists practice different breathing exercises and make you relieved. These exercises are really advantageous when you are suffering from pain.
- Exercises that help to alleviate stress are followed. These help to reduce the occurrence ands severity of headaches. These also heighten the level of beta- endorphins which are your natural stress relievers.
Contact Alliance Physical Therapy for the efficient management of any type of pain. Timely diagnosis and treatment can save you from further pain and suffering and as well help you to lead a healthy and quality life.