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Cluster Headache Help and Support >> Cluster Headache Specific >> Sensory function in cluster headache - research

Message started by Mike NZ on Dec 11th, 2018 at 10:26pm

Title: Sensory function in cluster headache - research
Post by Mike NZ on Dec 11th, 2018 at 10:26pm
Sensory function in cluster headache: an observational study comparing the symptomatic and asymptomatic sides

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Conclusion: These results support the prior evidence suggesting a specific pattern of alteration of sensory function with alterations in the symptomatic side compared to the asymptomatic side.

Quite a technical article, although fairly short.

In essence the research tested a group of people with CH to determine their reaction to sensations on the side of the body which matches the side of the head where they experience CH and the opposite side. The results show that people were more sensitive on the CH symptom side compared to the non-symptom side.

Now what is interesting is that the locations tested included:
  • Parts of the trigeminal nerve - you'd expect this to be more sensitive since this nerve is a key part of the CH response
  • Other locations including the cervical spine (neck area of the spine) and the thenar eminence (group of muscles around the base of the thumb) - you wouldn't normally expect these to be impacted

Clearly CH isn't as simple as the trigeminal nerve alone being triggered to cause intense pain, plus the associated symptoms around the nose / eye area.

Now I remember a few years ago someone posted about helping their CH with a rubber band around one of the fingers of their hand. Now it might just be that they were onto something!

Title: Re: Sensory function in cluster headache - research
Post by AussieBrian on Dec 12th, 2018 at 12:46am
Interestingly,  Mike,  there's been numerous comments by people here over the years that seriously squeezing the skin between thumb and forefinger has given them some small level of relief during a hit.

Also,  a number of those who have tried TENS machines have got good results using it around the back of the neck rather than on the head itself.

Same goes for ice packs and that's also where I've directed my boiling and freezing showers over the years.

Interesting to see this partially backed up by science but the big question now is why?

Title: Re: Sensory function in cluster headache - research
Post by Peter510 on Dec 12th, 2018 at 4:13am

My gammaCore is applied to the neck on the pain side, so that part of the article makes sense to me.

Never thought about the hand though.

Thanks for circulating this.


Title: Re: Sensory function in cluster headache - research
Post by Traveller on Dec 18th, 2018 at 12:08am
Many years ago I recall hearing something about there being a pressure point between the thumb and forefinger.  I've tried it a few times and it certainly does something, brings on a kind of "flushed" feeling.  Here is a little blurb from the leaf tv website.  I am sure there are other more reputable sources but this is all I could find without more research.

In the webbing between the thumb and your index finger is a pressure point well known to cure headaches. The point is located close to the bone in that area, not in the center of the webbing. Use your thumb and index finger to squeeze the point on your opposite hand. If you are doing it properly, you will feel the nerve beneath the skin and some pressure as you squeeze. Squeeze the point for a minute on each hand. Be sure to take deep breaths while treating yourself.

Title: Re: Sensory function in cluster headache - research
Post by John2 on Dec 19th, 2018 at 10:54pm
Next CH attack, try clamping your thumb in a vice and belting it with a hammer. Not very practical, but I doubt CH attack would be anyone's principal concern when doing this. It's the theory behind Neuromodulation, so a Professor explained to me...

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