You're sitting at your desk working diligently, when all of the sudden the pain grips you again. It's a stabbing pain, centralized behind your eyeballs. The pain makes it impossible for you to focus or do much of anything at all, and then minutes later, it subsides as quickly as it appears.
If you have numerous episodes like the above over a period of several weeks, you're suffering from what's known as cluster headaches. Nobody is entirely sure what causes them, though they are thought to be made worse by stress, hormonal changes, or lack of sleep. Taking pain relievers is often of little help since by the time they take effect, the headache has already subsided. So, to treat cluster headaches, you'll want to focus on remedies that decrease their frequency. Here are a few alternative, natural remedies that show promise.
The many medical uses for cannabis are becoming more widely known as the drug has been legalized by various states. If you live in a state where medical cannabis use is legal, then it is a great option to try for your cluster headaches. It's not effective for everyone, so you will have to try it to see if you experience relief or not.
There are several ways to use cannabis to treat cluster headaches. You could try smoking or vaporizing the drug once a day, or you could purchase some cannabis oil and rub it on your temples a couple of times per day or when you feel a headache coming on. Some of the best strains for pain such as headaches include Purple Arrow and Blackberry Headband, both of which are Indica-Sativa hybrids.
In some cases, the headaches may be brought on or made worse by stiffness in the neck and back, which result from stress and poor posture over time. Seeing a chiropractor can help relax these muscles, alleviating the pressure on your skull and brain and reducing the frequency of your cluster headaches.
Make sure you tell your chiropractor that you've been suffering from cluster headaches so they can give you the most targeted treatment possible. They will likely focus on manipulating the vertebrae in your neck and upper back. You may hear a popping noise, similar to when you crack your knuckles, when your chiropractor adjusts your spine--but you should not feel any pain.
In most cases, you'll need more than one adjustment in order to keep your spine in place long-term and prevent future cluster headaches. Your chiropractor may also give you some tips for adjusting your posture or stretching your neck between appointments.
Feverfew is an herb that is sometimes also sold as bachelor's button, featherfew, wild chamomile, or midsummer daisy. It is a remedy that works well for many migraine sufferers, and cluster headache sufferers are beginning to embrace its benefits, too. If you suffer from nausea and vomiting when you have cluster headaches, this remedy is a good choice as it is also known to calm the stomach.
For best results, purchase a feverfew supplement from a reputable health food store. There should be dosage instructions on the label; follow them closely to avoid unwanted side effects. Make sure you take the remedy every single day to prevent cluster headaches from arising. If you are taking any prescription medications—especially blood clotting medications—talk to your doctor before you begin taking feverfew.
The great thing about the remedies above is that you can use any one of them or all three in combination. Hopefully, they bring you some relief from your cluster headaches so you can enjoy a pain-free life once again.