Do you suffer from brief, stabbing headaches in the area behind your eyes? Known as cluster headaches, these pains can really get in the way of your everyday life. Conventional pain relievers only do so much when it comes to treating these headaches. If you want to decrease the frequency and severity of your cluster headaches, you may be better off taking a natural approach to treatment.
Cluster headaches are often caused or made worse by tension in the muscles in the neck. When muscle tension pulls or pushes on certain nerves, it can result in pain farther up those nerves, which you perceive as a cluster headache. Having your spine adjusted at a chiropractic clinic may therefore help alleviate cluster headaches in several ways:
- It stops misaligned vertebrae from pulling on your muscles, which in turn reduces muscle tension in the neck.
- It alleviates pressure on nerves related to your stress response, helping you to feel less stressed, which helps alleviate muscle tension in the neck, too.
You may also want to schedule a deep-tissue massage with a massage therapist in your area. They can help work the kinks and tension out of your neck muscles. Since back stiffness can often make neck stiffness even worse, they'll probably want to work on your back, too. Make sure you choose a massage therapist who has experience working with headache sufferers rather than a spa-style massage center that focuses primarily on relaxation and pampering. Between massages, you can even have a friend rub your neck and back periodically to try and relax the muscles in these areas.
A great way to help alleviate the stress that can contribute to cluster headaches is through aromatherapy. Lavender, lemon, and sandalwood are all scents that can ease your tension and help you relax. Purchase one or more of these essential oils from a reputable source, and add it to a diffuser to fill your home with the scent. If there is a time of day at which you most often get tension headaches, try diffusing your essential oils at this time; you may prevent the headaches from appearing all together.
Waiting for a cluster headache to appear and then taking a pain reliever to get rid of it is not a very effective control measure. If you focus on the therapies above instead, you should be able to ward off most headaches before they even develop.