More than 60 million Americans complain of chronic headaches of all varieties, (migraine, cluster, and sinus). While these varieties of headaches may differ in certain classic symptoms, all headaches share some common links that may lead to relief for all headache sufferers.
The key is in the way our bodies transmit headache pain, and the symptoms often shared by all varieties of headaches. For example, a recent study of 30 chronic sinus headache patients showed that 97% did not have sinus headaches, but instead had the classic symptoms of migraines. That means most sinus headache sufferers may actually be un-diagnosed migraine victims.
The reason people are so easily fooled by migraine symptoms is because many sufferers will experience facial pain and sinus congestion along with their headaches. Cluster headaches, (usually located behind the eye on one side of the head) are also often accompanied by sinus congestion to one or both sides of the head. Yet it’s also important to note that although these headache varieties often share symptoms, some sufferers have no “shared” symptoms at all.
Science is also finding that common triggers for different headache varieties appear to be shared by all varieties. Things such as alcohol, dry heat, stress, and certain foods are all known to be triggers for both cluster and migraine headaches. So although different chronic headaches are diagnosed and categorized according to a particular variety, they all share many of the same main factors, and therefore they should all be preventable and controllable by the same methods.
Studies have shown that nearly 50% of diagnosed migraine sufferers also experience sinus symptoms as part of their headache patterns. The most common “sinus” symptoms of a migraine included nasal congestion and general stuffiness, clear nasal drainage, and watery eyes. However, those same patients also experienced the following symptoms of a migraine: moderate-to-severe pain, sensitivity to light, pain worsened by activity, and nausea.
When a person actually experiences a true sinus headache, it’s usually due to acute sinus infection (sinusitis). In acute sinusitis, fever and (green/yellow) nasal discharge are often present. So a person experiencing this colored discharge along with their headaches should consult a doctor to treat their sinusitis with antibiotics. Otherwise, a person experiencing sinus symptoms without colored nasal discharge is probably suffering from migraines or cluster headaches not necessarily related to a sinus infection.
New research shows that the Trigeminal Nerve plays a big part in activating a migraine attack. This is the nerve that supplies sensation to the face and much of the head. The Trigeminal nerve has branches that go into the sinus and nasal cavity which can cause sinus symptoms when those branches are activated. The same holds true with cluster headaches that are also connected to branches of the Trigeminal nerve. It’s for this reason, headaches generally cause pain by the same method. Therefore, it would make sense to attack all headaches in the same way – stop the system of nerves from activating thus stopping the pain.
One extraordinary breakthrough has been demonstrated in clinical trials of cluster headache patients using (capsaicin), the natural chemical extracted from pepper plants of the Capsicum family. In a 1993 study sponsored by the Clinical Immunology Dept. at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, patients suffering from chronic cluster headaches were treated with an intranasal solution of capsaicin. For seven days, half the group got the real capsaicin solution while the other half got a placebo. The patients recorded their headache patterns for 15 days to track their progress. The capsaicin group showed a significant decrease in the severity and occurrence of headaches especially after the seventh day of treatment. Furthermore, the placebo group showed no notable decrease in their headaches.
The secret in how capsaicin works in its ability to desensitize the sensory neurons within the Trigeminal nerve branches. Capsaicin does this by depleting the nerve terminals of a chemical called “Substance P”, the chemical your body produces which activates the nerve fibers that cause swelling and pain throughout your sinus cavity and head.
This is why when you eat spicy food usually containing hot peppers, your sinuses open up wide. It’s not the peppers themselves, but the chemical (capsaicin) excreted by the peppers. As a chronic cluster headache sufferer, I discovered this effect purely by accident when I had an experience with a self defense pepper spray in 1992.
At the time, I was a self defense instructor making the talk show rounds, and I agreed to be sprayed by real defensive pepper spray for television news segment. Shortly before I had to do the demonstration, I got one of my terrible cluster headaches. If you’ve ever had a cluster headache, you’d know they are absolutely debilitating. Figuring I’d be on the ground riling in pain anyway, I went on with the demonstration.
Within seconds after the reporter sprayed me, my headache started to disappear. I had been on all kinds of headache drugs, but nothing ever worked like this. Soon after, I started researching everything concerning headaches and capsaicin, (the active natural ingredient in pepper spray). I started experimenting with a natural capsaicin extract, and within a year I had created my own capsaicin nasal spray. Unlike the terrible effects of defensive pepper spray, my formula delivers capsaicin without into the nasal cavity without excessive burning. I’ve been using it for three years now with no more cluster headaches.
My doctor was amazed I was able to stop all my medications and live headache free. In fact he is even testing my formula on several of his worst case cluster and migraine patients. I’ve been selling this formula locally for nearly a year, and many people with migraines, clusters, and sinus troubles have experienced significant relief where known medicines have failed.
We are presently marketing this all natural capsaicin nasal spray through our website, but I will not promote that here. I’m providing this article as a possible alternative for the millions of headache sufferers seeking relief. Start doing some of your own research, and find out if capsaicin could spell “headache relief” for you.
Wayne Perry is an ex-television crime reporter who suffered from chronic cluster headaches for 15 years before finally discovering his own cure completely by accident. He also markets the world's first capsaicin nasal spray called "The Sinus Buster".