Researchers are studying a potential treatment called occipital nerve stimulation.In this procedure, your surgeon implants electrodes in the back of your head and connects them to a small pacemaker-like device (generator).The goal of treatment is to decrease the severity of pain, shorten the headache period and prevent the attacks.Because the pain of a cluster headache comes on suddenly and might subside within a short time, cluster headache can be difficult to evaluate and treat, as it requires fast-acting medications.The electrodes send impulses to stimulate the area of the occipital nerve, which may block or relieve your pain signals.Several small studies of occipital nerve stimulation found that the procedure reduced pain in some people with chronic cluster headaches.
Deep brain stimulation of the hypothalamus may provide relief for people with severe, chronic cluster headaches that haven't been successfully treated with medications.
Because this involves placing an electrode deep in the brain, there are significant risks, such as an infection or hemorrhage.
Some surgical procedures for cluster headache attempt to damage the nerve pathways thought to be responsible for pain, most commonly the trigeminal nerve that serves the area behind and around your eye.
Fast-acting treatments available from your doctor include: Preventive therapy starts at the onset of the cluster episode with the goal of suppressing attacks.
Determining which medicine to use often depends on the length and regularity of your episodes.