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Scoliosis and Cluster Headaches:


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Hey peeps I have been here before but its Been a while. I have Been CH FREE since last November (I think)!!!

Question, I went to a physical therapist/sports medicine guy yesterday and was told I have scoliosis. He is one of the best doctors around the region. He says the tension headaches (not CHs) are from my misalignment.

My question, can my scoliosis (my back literally is shaped like an "s" ...but not severely painful...) cause my CH.

I'm episodic and I believe my CH cycles are linked to my exercising. I always have thought this. Anyone have any experience with this?

I'll let you know how the therapy turns out either way!

-Jeff From New Orleans 

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"Most believe that CH has to do with a problem in the brain, with the hypothalamus"

Yeah, I know. It's wishful thinking. A doctor (one of 3 I've seen so far at the clinic) today said it might be my neck. On the right side of my neck is real tight and kinda more muscular than the left side. R side is where I get tension headaches and Cluster headaches. My spine is shaped like an "s" with my back having the curve at the bottom by my right hip, then goes left , then goes to the left , then goes back to the right towards my right shoulder, causing my neck a lot of tension. I have a lot of muscular atrophy on the left side. My right side basically does all the work. They said they haven't seen anything like it... my left side is about half as strong for no particular reason. From my core to my arms to my legs. He kept asking,"did you get in an accident?" ...It's kinda strange. No accident.

Either way, the rehab and the therapy to my neck has felt good! EXCEPT for when he put his finger into a spot of my neck that reproduced the feeling of a CH for about a minute. He held it there, told me to wait a sec and that the pain would go to zero...from about 8....and it did! The pain was exactly pin pointed where from CH are then gradually as he massaged the area it felt as if muscles in my head by my temple unwined... Surprisingly. Kinda scared the crap out of me since I haven't had pain from a CH in months and months.

Well, we'll see.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Jeff,

I don't pretend to hurt as bad as you do but I've had a bum neck for most of my life and have found some things that have helped. If you can, see an Orthopedic Surgeon at another facility for a 2nd opinion. Get a hard collar from a medical supply store. Try to find a way to partially suspend yourself by your head. I'll explain. I bought 2 big packs of bungie cords of different lengths from the hardware store that I suspended from hooks in the ceiling in pairs about a foot apart. To these I attach a cervical harness (med supply store, might need Rx) to different pairs to provide a variety of different tensions. You kinda hang yourself. I know that sounds bad - but it sure feels good. I got (through workman's comp) a blue, semi-soft(?) PronPillo (kinda expensive) that allows you to lie flat on your stomach with your face supported by this "pillo," like it is on a massage table. Feels good; a new position to sleep in. Try one of those inversion tables they advertise on TV. They're pretty cheap (mine was only $100.00 several years ago). If you like how it feels, buy a good one. I'm not okay but these things make me feel better. Good luck.


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  • 1 month later...

Hi Jeff,

I'm new, but I have had CH since 1997 or so. I also have Scoliosis and so do both my daughters.

No connection.

They are FINALLY researching and finding Scoliosis is actually inherited! Usually from mother to daughter since it is much more common in females. My son has a bit of a curve as well. Duke did the study.

Anyway, the muscle difference is very common with the curve. Think: Curve to left, muscles on left are more contracted all the time and muscles on the right are more stretched. Therefore, muscles on the right appear much smaller than those on the left.

It can also come with a rotation left or right. This presents problems with breathing as one side is compressed and the lung on that side is affected.

Sounds odd, I am sure, but the 'S' curve (actually 2 curves) is easier on you physically because you are more balanced. Two of us have the single curve (lumbar), which makes you think one leg is longer than the other. It will also stress your lumbar area a lot, depending on the degree of curvature. Read: Lumbar Fusion sometime after 35 if you do NO heavy work/workout or after 50 if you do too much heavy lifting.

My 27 year old has had all thoracic vertebrae fused. She has the S with the twist. She has had two surgeries and will have more in the years to come. First surgeon wanted to do a full fusion at 12! >:( Surgery is usually put off till it reaches 40-50 degrees.

I had lumbar fusion 5 years ago. Did not help or hurt my CH. I was one of those heavy lifters. Well, you work with men, you work like a man. After 20 years, my 5'5" was 5'3" and I was bone on bone with an additional blown disk and another herniated disk. Wish to hell it HAD helped!

The suspension thing will most likely provide some temporary relief if you can do it.

Try one thing. Measure your height when you first get up and then at bedtime. You will likely see a 'shrink' during the day. You will compress more over the course of the day than folks with lovely straight backs do.

How's New Orleans doing these days? When I left Lake Charles, the billboard saying "Last one out, turn out the lights." was already up! Saints rock! ;D

Best of luck to you and stay PF!


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