What’s Causing My Cluster Headaches?

headache relief astoria ny

Did you know that headaches are the third most common pain complaint throughout the world? They can impact your quality of life and make it difficult to function normally. Luckily, headache relief can be found through physical therapy. At Hands-On Physical Therapy, one of our trained physical therapists will work with you to provide pain relief from headaches, in addition to any other aches and pains you may be suffering from. For more information on how we can help you relieve your cluster headaches, give our clinic in Astoria, NY a call today.


What is a cluster headache?


Cluster headaches, also known as Horton’s syndrome, 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.


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.



How can physical therapy help?


Physical therapy isn’t normally someone’s first thought when they have a headache – most of the time, the common reaction is to take some form of pain-relieving medication. This may help to relieve pain in the short-term, but if you are constantly suffering from headaches, pain relief drugs will not provide you with the same long-term effects that physical therapy will.


Some common PT treatments for headache relief includes:


  • Trigger point therapy.
  • Heat or ice compressions.
  • Soft tissue mobilization.
  • Muscular releases.
  • Muscle energy techniques.
  • Body mobilization.
  • Cervical traction.
  • McKenzie-based therapies.
  • Stretching.
  • Strengthening.



If you’ve been dealing with pain caused by cluster headaches, contact Hands-On Physical Therapy to schedule an appointment today. We will help you figure out what is causing your headaches and provide an effective, safe, and natural treatment plan for eliminating them!

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