Chronic Paroxysmal Hemicrania, Hemicrania Continua and Cluster Headache – All From The Same Disorder?

September 2, 2009 by dean · Leave a Comment 

In recent times the International Headache Society has added a third primary group of headache(s) to the two primary headache types – migraine and tension-type headache.

This third primary group includes Cluster headache, Chronic Paroxysmal Hemicrania, and SUNCT (Short lasting Unilateral Neuralgia form headache attack with Conjunctival injection and Tearing!) and Hemicrania Continua.

Chronic Paroxysmal Hemicrania is very similar to Cluster Headache and is often described as the female equivalent of Cluster Headache (Cluster Headache is more frequent in males).

It is interesting to note a report demonstrating that both chronic Paroxysmal Hemicrania and Hemicrania Continua (thought to be two different types of headache) respond to the same medication – Indomethacin. (Indomethacin is a non steroidal anti inflammatory drug used to reduce pain)

I have written before that Cluster Headache and Hemicrania Continua respond to blocking or injecting of the greater occipital nerve i.e. a feature of Cervicogenic (neck-related) Headache – just more evidence to support the role of neck disorders in many different headache forms …..



(Headache Classification Subcommittee of the International Headache Society. The International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd edn. Cephalalgia 2004; 24(suppl.1):1-151

Sjaastad O, Antonaci F. Paroxysmal Hemicrania (CPH) and Hemicrania Continua: Transition From One Stage to Another. Headache 1993;(33)10:551-554)

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About dean
Consultant Headache & Migraine Physiotherapist; International Teacher; Director, The Headache Clinic & Watson Headache Institute; PhD Candidate Murdoch University, Western Australia; Adjunct Lecturer, Masters Program, Physiotherapy School, University of South Australia; MAppSc(Res) GradDipAdvManipTher Experienced health practitioners trained in the Watson Headache Approach perform the examination and treatment techniques developed by Dean Watson. These techniques are based on his extensive experience of 7000 headache patients (21,000 hours) over 21 years and are now taught internationally. For your nearest practitioner who has completed training in the ‘Watson Headache Approach’ please refer to the ‘Practitioner Directory’.

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