Endogenous Neurostimulation and Physiotherapy in Cluster Headache: A Clinical Case

Brain Sci. 2019 Mar 12;9(3):60. doi: 10.3390/brainsci9030060.


Objective: The aim of this paper is to describe the progressive changes of chronic cluster headaches (CHs) in a patient who is being treated by a multimodal approach, using pharmacology, neurostimulation and physiotherapy.

Subject: A male patient, 42 years of age was diagnosed with left-sided refractory chronic CH by a neurologist in November 2009. In June 2014, the patient underwent a surgical intervention in which a bilateral occipital nerve neurostimulator was implanted as a treatment for headache.

Methods: Case report.

Results: Primary findings included a decreased frequency of CH which lasted up to 2 months and sometimes even without pain. Besides this, there were decreased levels of anxiety, helplessness (PCS subscale) and a decreased impact of headache (HIT-6 scale). Bilateral pressure pain thresholds (PPTs) were improved along with an increase in strength and motor control of the neck muscles. These improvements were present at the conclusion of the treatment and maintained up to 4 months after the treatment.

Conclusions: A multimodal approach, including pharmacology, neurostimulation and physiotherapy may be beneficial for patients with chronic CHs. Further studies such as case series and clinical trials are needed to confirm these results.

Keywords: cluster headache; neurosurgery; physiotherapy; pressure pain threshold.

Publication types

  • Case Reports