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Cluster Migraine Headaches

Home > Treatment Articles > Migraine Articles > Cluster Migraine Headaches

Cluster Migraine Headaches are quite rare and when they do occur, it is usually in men. The severe pain of a cluster headache migraine starts very suddenly, usually occurring behind or around one eye. The eye and nose on the same side of the pain of the cluster migraine may become red, swollen and runny and the sufferer becomes restless. These cluster migraine headaches can be frightening to both the sufferer and to his family. They usually last for anything between three quarters of an hour to an hour and a half and a pattern forms where they appear at the same time each day for several weeks – hence the term “cluster migraines”. The cluster periods of migraine headaches usually last from 1 to 2 months. They can appear again after several months have elapsed.

Some of the causes of these cluster migraine headaches are thought to be:

  • Taking some medications such as nitroglycerin
  • Smoking heavily
  • Interrupting your normal sleep pattern for whatever reason
  • Problems with the hypothalamus, which controls your body’s clock


The attacks of cluster migraine headaches can be further aggravated, particularly during the cluster period, by:

  • Taking an afternoon nap – so don’t deviate from your normal sleep pattern and routine.
  • Drinking alcohol – this can bring on headaches very quickly before you have even finished one drink. Alcohol should be completely avoided until the cluster period is over.
  • Stress – headaches may start when you are relaxing after a stressful time.


Cluster migraine headache solutions

Your doctor will normally treat migraines symptoms with 2 different medications – one to take regularly during the cluster period to reduce the number of headaches while a second is taken to relieve the pain when an attack occurs. This second migraine medicine is often prescribed and taken as an inhaler, an injection or a rectal suppository so that the migraine pain relief is very quick. Medicines taken by mouth are too slow to give relief from the pain of cluster migraine headaches. Breathing pure oxygen through a mask for 10-15 minutes or using a local anesthetic in the nose are two further ways of treating the condition.

Fortunately cluster migraine headaches are a rare type of headache affecting 0.1% of the population with an estimated 85% of sufferers being male. The average age of cluster headaches sufferers is 28-30 years but such rare headaches can begin in childhood.

These headaches are considered to be vascular headaches because they are associated with changes in the size of the arteries in and outside of the brain. When biochemical changes occur in the brain, one of the larger nerve branches (the trigeminal nerve) in your head triggers a chain reaction: the changes in serotonin in the blood vessels and the brain lead to shifts of blood flow, bypassing the capillaries and going through shunts to the veins. The distention of these vessels contributes to the pain of migraine. The nerves around the blood vessels release chemicals which cause a sterile inflammation eliciting pain signals into the brain.

Cluster migraine headaches do not appear to be related to any other illnesses nor to diseases of the brain. Also, they do not seem to run in families like other migraines do.

Although they are very painful, cluster migraine headaches can be controlled very well so it is important to work with your doctor to find the right combination of medication.

What are the homeopathic treatments for cluster headaches?

Homeopathic remedies for cluster headaches often focus on treating the symptoms and underlying causes of these severe, recurring headaches. Here are some of the most commonly used homeopathic ingredients for cluster headaches:

  1. Belladonna: Often used for sudden, intense headaches that are throbbing in nature, especially if they are worse on the right side and accompanied by redness and heat in the face.

  2. Sanguinaria: Typically used for headaches that start on the right side and spread to the other areas of the head. It's often chosen for headaches that are accompanied by nausea and are worse from light and noise.

  3. Spigelia: Indicated for headaches that are sharp, stabbing, and often located around or behind the eye, which is a common characteristic of cluster headaches.

  4. Glonoinum: Used for headaches that feel like a rush of blood to the head, with throbbing and pulsating pain. It's often helpful in cluster headaches that are worsened by sun exposure.

  5. Kali Bichromicum: Suitable for headaches with pain in a small, specific spot. It's often used when the pain is in the forehead or the back of the head.

  6. Natrum Muriaticum: Indicated for headaches that are triggered by grief or emotional upset, and for headaches that are worsened by consolation.

  7. Silicea: Often chosen for headaches that feel like a nail is being driven into the head, and for headaches that are worse from cold air or before a storm.

  8. Cimicifuga: Useful for headaches that are linked to neck and shoulder tension, and for headaches that are worsened during menstrual periods.

It's important to remember that homeopathy is highly individualized, and the choice of remedy depends on the specific symptoms and overall health of the individual. Consulting with a qualified homeopath is recommended to get a remedy that is tailored to your specific needs. Additionally, the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies can vary, and they should not replace conventional medical treatment, especially for conditions as severe as cluster headaches.

What are the ingredients found in H-Headaches and how do they work?

The H-Headaches Formula from Healing Natural Oils contains the following ingredients:

Active Ingredients:

  1. Apium graveolens 12C
  2. Nux vomica 12C

Inactive Ingredients:

  • Corylus avellana nut oil
  • Essential Oil Blend:
    • Citrus limon peel (Lemon Peel Oil)
    • Lavandula officinalis flower bud (Lavender Oil)
    • Matricaria recutita flower (Chamomile Oil)
    • Mentha piperita flower & whole plant (Peppermint Oil)
    • Rosmarinus officinalis whole plant (Rosemary Oil)

Comparison with Common Homeopathic Ingredients for Headaches:

  • Nux vomica is a common homeopathic remedy used for headaches, especially those associated with digestive problems or stress.
  • Apium graveolens (Celery) is less commonly mentioned in traditional lists for headaches but is known in homeopathy for treating nervous conditions and pain relief.
  • The essential oils included in the formula, such as Lavender, Chamomile, Peppermint, and Rosemary, are known for their soothing and pain-relieving properties. They are not typically listed in homeopathic remedies for headaches but are widely used in aromatherapy and natural medicine for their calming and analgesic effects.

How These Ingredients Help with Headaches:

  • Apium graveolens and Nux vomica are the primary active homeopathic ingredients and are believed to address the systemic causes of headaches.
  • Corylus avellana nut oil (Hazelnut Oil) acts as a carrier oil, enhancing the absorption of other ingredients.
  • The essential oils like Lemon Peel, Lavender, Chamomile, Peppermint, and Rosemary provide a soothing aroma and are known to help relax muscle tension, improve circulation, and provide relief from headache symptoms.

It's important to note that while these ingredients are believed to be helpful in managing headache symptoms, the effectiveness can vary from person to person. For chronic or severe headaches, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional.

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