Chronic headache represents a very significant public health and economic issue. One treatment modality for chronic refractory headache involves the use of subcutaneous implanted neurostimulator leads in the occipital region. Varied types of headache etiologies including migraine, transformed migraine, chronic daily headache, cluster headache, hemicrania continua, occipital neuralgia, and cervicogenic headache have been studied with peripheral nerve field stimulation and found responsive to stimulation of the suboccipital region, known commonly as occipital nerve stimulation (ONS).
In 2006 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert, based on 27 case reports gathered over a 5-year span, regarding serotonin syndrome resulting from concurrent use of either a selective serotonin-re uptake inhibitor (SSRI) or a selective serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) with a triptan.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that a component in OTC products labeled as kudzu may prove useful in managing cluster headache. This hypothesis should be tested with a randomized clinical trial.
Past use of CAM therapies was reported by 29% of the patients surveyed, with 10% having used CAM in the previous year. Only 8% of the therapies used were perceived as effective, while a partial effectiveness was reported in 28% of CAM treatments.
Cluster headache (CH) is a primary headache disease characterized by recurrent short-lasting attacks (15 to 180 minutes) of excruciating unilateral periorbital pain accompanied by ipsilateral autonomic signs (lacrimation, nasal congestion, ptosis, miosis, lid edema, redness of the eye). It affects young adults, predominantly males. Prevalence is estimated at 0.5–1.0/1,000. CH has a circannual and circadian periodicity, attacks being clustered (hence the name) in bouts that can occur during specific months of the year.
Cluster headache (CH) is associated with the most severe pain of the primary headache disorders. Barriers to optimal care include misdiagnosis, diagnostic delay, undertreatment, and mismanagement. Medication-over-use headache (MOH) may further complicate CH and may present as increased CH frequency or development of a background headache, which may be featureless or have some migrainous quality.
SUNCT and SUNA are not rare conditions. Characterisation into episodic and chronic disease course appears to be of prognostic and therapeutic importance. Lamotrigine is effective in the majority of cases and subcutaneous lignocaine is useful as acute treatment for severe recalcitrant attacks.
Head pain arises within the trigeminal nociceptive system. Current theories propose that the trigeminal system is intimately involved in the pathogenesis of migraine. Short-latency responses can be recorded in sternocleidomastoid muscles after stimulation of the trigeminal nerve (trigemino-cervical reflex). This brainstem reflex could be a suitable method to evaluate the trigeminal system in migraine and CH.