Itâs been a week now since I had a full-blown attack so Iâm definitely coming out of this cluster pattern. This is the other defining factor and where Cluster Headaches get their name. They come in groups over a few months and then completely vanish for as much as a year or two. My current cycle will have lasted almost exactly two months, which is on the short side, but Iâm certainly not complaining.
Due to the quick onset & (hopefully) rapid departure of the pains, taking medication isnât really a solution. A few times in the past 2 months I had dull (for clusters) headache that just lasted all day. In those cases 12-hour pain caps took the edge off but for most of the days thereâs just nothing you can take that will do more than slowly make you immune to the pain dampener. The only thing Iâve found that can truly beat down a cluster headache in full swing is a terrific rush of endorphins & adrenaline. If Iâm at home Iâll hit the basement where we store the free weights. If Iâm out and about Iâll do a few wind sprints. If Iâm at the office â" and this is where the headaches most frequently occur â" thereâs not much I can do. While working in New York I used to take a walk to the stairway and knock off a few dozen flights. 10 down and 16 back up followed by a walk on the roof usually did the trick. The panic inducing vertigo of looking down 16 stories onto the streets of Manhattan sometimes provided the finishing touch.
The correlation between circadian rhythms and exercise beating the pain is something of a mystery to me but I can see that getting the blood flowing & opening up the capillaries in my head is the solution. Now I just need my current employer to put in an additional 15 stories of building.
Orignal From: The Cluster of 2009