A cluster headache is head pain that occurs in recurring patterns or clusters, giving the condition its name. A cluster headache is very painful, keeping individuals out of commission for long periods of time. Frequent bouts of cluster periods can last for hours, weeks, and even months. Typically, a cluster headache is followed by a remission period, where the headache attacks stop.
Fortunately, cluster headaches are not life-threatening. However, they are quite disabling. If you think you suffer with cluster headaches, contact an American Spine physician today. Our team thoroughly evaluates every patient’s condition to correctly define a diagnosis and begin treatment immediately. American Spine has three locations in California, giving patients better access to our care.
While cluster headaches can attack people at different rates and levels of pressure, one commonality that all patients share is painful symptoms. A cluster headache can strike quickly and suddenly, usually catching the patient off guard. If you endure any of the following symptoms, you should seek American Spine treatment immediately:
- Pain that radiates around the face, head, neck, and shoulders
- Pain on one side of the body
- Teary eyes
- Eye redness
- Stuffy nasal passage
- Sweaty and pale skin of the face
- Eye swelling
- Dropping eyelid
Cluster headache sufferers often describe their pain as sharp and penetrating, even burning at times. Migraine-like symptoms may also develop such as nausea, sensitivity to light, and aura.
Physicians and researchers still do not know what the exact cause of these painful headaches is from. Many hypothesize that abnormalities in the hypothalamus could be a leading factor. Seasonal cluster headaches are also evident in many patients, with attacks occurring in a systematic cycle. Food, hormonal changes, and stress may also play a role, promoting the onset of a cluster headache.
Your physician may recommend tests to pinpoint the type and cause. Neurologic exams and imaging tests including CT and MRI scans may help the physician uncover more information about the reason for the attacks.
To reduce your risk for a cluster headache, implement a regular sleep schedule and avoidance of alcohol into your lifestyle. Talk to your doctor about alternative medicine such as acupuncture, homeopathy, and chiropractic to see what they recommend.
Fore more information about cluster headaches, contact a American Spine representative today. Dr. Sial treats a wide variety of pain syndromes, and is available by appointment in Murrieta, Corona, and Rancho Cucamonga offices.
At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246)
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.
©American Spine, 2014
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