Cluster headaches affect one side of the head (unilateral) and may be associated with tearing of the eyes and nasal congestion. They occur in clusters, happening repeatedly every day at the same time for several weeks and then remitting. Cluster headaches are a fairly common form of chronic, recurrent headache. Unlike migraines, they affect men more often than women. They can affect people of any age but are most common between adolescence and middle age. There does not seem to be a pattern among families in the development of cluster headaches. Cluster headaches occur as a severe, sudden headache. The onset is sudden, and it occurs most commonly during the dreaming (REM) phase of sleep. Cluster headaches may occur daily for months, alternating with periods without headaches (episodic), or they can occur for a year or more without stopping (chronic). A person may experience alternating chronic and episodic phases.
The common migraine is a disorder involving recurrent headaches, which may be accompanied by symptoms other than headache but which rarely include a preliminary warning (called an aura). Migraine headaches affect about 6 out of 100 people. They are a common type of chronic headache. They most commonly occur in women and usually begin between the ages of 10 and 46. In some cases, they appear to run in families. Migraines occur when blood vessels of the head and neck spasm or constrict, which decreases blood flow to the brain. Minutes to hours later, the blood vessels dilate (enlarge), resulting in a severe headache. Inflammation around the blood vessels also occurs in some cases. Common migraine may be accompanied by symptoms other than headache but only rarely includes any preceding symptoms (aura). Migraines may also appear as classic migraine (a migraine preceded by other symptoms) and other rare forms. Multiple mechanisms trigger the spasm and subsequent blood vessel dilation.
A condition involving pain or discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck, usually associated with muscle tightness in these areas. Tension headaches are one of the most common forms of headache. They can occur at any age, but are most common in adults and adolescents. If a headache occurs two or more times weekly for several months or longer, the condition is considered chronic. Tension headaches result from the contraction of neck and scalp muscles. One cause of this muscle contraction is a response to stress, depression or anxiety. Any activity that causes the head to be held in one position for a long time without moving can cause a headache. Such activities include typing or use of computers, fine work with the hands, and use of a microscope. Sleeping in a cold room or sleeping with the neck in an abnormal position can also trigger this type of headache. Other causes include spinal misalignment, eye strain, fatigue, alcohol use, excessive smoking, excessive caffeine use, sinus infection, nasal congestion, overexertion, colds, and influenza. Tension headaches are not associated with structural lesions in the brain.
Chiropractic care works on correcting the underlying causes of headaches and relieving symptoms associated with cluster headaches. To see if chiropractic may be able to help you call (405) (752-8819) today for a complimentary consultation.