Common Causes of Cluster Headaches and How To Treat Them

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Cluster headaches (CH) are classified as a neurological disorder that’s characterized by a painful, throbbing sensation on one side of the head. Unlike tension or migraines, cluster headaches only develop on one particular side, making it relatively easy for a medical practitioner to diagnose. So, what causes this condition? And how can you prevent cluster headaches from coming back in the future? To learn the answers to these questions and more, keep reading.

It’s estimated that cluster headaches affect roughly 0.2% of the population, making it a somewhat rare condition. However, studies have shown that men are 2-3 times more likely to develop cluster headaches than women. Regardless of your gender, age or background, a cluster headache can strike at any given time, which is why it’s important to protect yourself against them.

The pain levels associated with cluster headaches vary from person to person. With that said, most people suffering from this condition report bouts of intense, oftentimes “excruciating” pain originating in one side of their head. A typical cluster headache usually lasts around 20-180 minutes, forcing the individual to stop what he or she is doing and rest until the pain subsides.

Cluster headache is probably the worst pain that humans experience. I know that’s quite a strong remark to make, but if you ask a cluster headache patient if they’ve had a worse experience, they’ll universally say they haven’t,” said Dr. Peter Goadsby, professor at the University College of London.

The medical community has yet to determine the root cause of cluster headaches, but there are some factors known to play a role. Tobacco smoking, for instance, has been linked to a number of cases. One particular study found 65% of people suffering from cluster headaches were, or have been, smokers. It’s unclear how, or even if, tobacco smoke triggers this condition, as some doctors simply believe smokers are predisposed to bad lifestyle choices, which then places them at risk for developing cluster headaches.

Genetics is another known factor in the development of cluster headaches. Individuals with a first-degree relative whom suffers from the condition are 14-48 times more likely to develop it themselves. This is a staggering statistic that should serve as a real eye-opener to anyone who’s battling this neurological disorder.

If you’re suffering from cluster headaches – whether they’re mild or severe – you should schedule an appointment with a professional chiropractor. They will provide guidance on how to best treat your condition to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with your cluster headaches. This may include spinal manipulations, chiropractic adjustments, nutritional advice, ergonomics, light massage, and stress reduction techniques.


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