Rehability_Recognizing the Causes of Cluster Headaches

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Any type of pain that occurs within the head can be referred to as a “headache.” Most headaches will resolve on their own without medical intervention; however, severe or recurrent headaches that interfere with one’s quality of life should most certainly be evaluated further. The challenge lies in identifying which type of headache you’re experiencing and then devising a treatment plan accordingly. Cluster headaches are a specific type of chronic headache. Also known as Horton’s syndrome, cluster headaches are short-lived but painful headaches that occur every day for weeks or even months at a time. They occur in patterns or “clusters,” and they may even happen at the same time every year, such as in the spring or fall. Most cluster attacks occur at night; however, it is possible for them to occur at any point during the day, sometimes multiple times throughout the day. The pain you feel from cluster headaches is defined as chronic, due to the nature of the ongoing clusters. If you are suffering from chronic headaches, it is important to realize that you are not alone. In fact, according to the International Headache Society, headaches are the third most common pain complaint across the world. If you’ve been living with nagging headaches that seem to come and go

at different times, you may be experiencing cluster headaches. Contact REHABILITY today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced physical therapists and figure out exactly what type of headache is plaguing you. What causes a cluster headache? While some headaches have specific triggers, such as hormonal changes, stress, or tension, cluster headaches typically do not. While the exact cause of cluster headaches is unknown, many medical professionals believe that they are associated with the hypothalamus. Some factors that may put you at a higher risk for developing cluster headaches include: • Age. Most people who develop cluster headaches are between 20-50 years old. • Sex. Males are more likely to develop cluster headaches than females. • Smoking. A large number of people who experience cluster headaches are smokers. • Alcohol. Alcohol use can aggravate or even trigger a cluster attack. • Family history. Those who have family members with cluster headaches are more likely to develop them themselves.

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