What Is Occipital Neuralgia?

What is the best medicine for occipital neuralgia?

What medications can you use to treat occipital neuralgia?Prescription muscle relaxants.Antiseizure drugs, such as carbamazepine (Tegretol) and gabapentin (Neurontin)Antidepressants.Nerve blocks and steroid shots.

The nerve block that your doctor might do to diagnose your condition can be a short-term treatment, too..

Can a virus cause occipital neuralgia?

Occipital neuralgia The pain can sometimes include the forehead. It is suspected that tense muscles or ligaments may press against the nerve, causing irritation, inflammation and subsequent pain. Other causes may include viral infection, trauma to the neck or bad posture.

What doctor treats occipital neuralgia?

Your pain management specialist may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or muscle relaxants, and may recommend physical therapy as well. In some cases, anti-seizure medications or antidepressants may be prescribed to help calm the occipital nerve.

How do you sleep with occipital neuralgia?

The best way to sleep with occipital neuralgia is in a position that does not place more pressure on the nerves. Following are some guidelines: Sleep on your back. Use a pillow that supports the neck and keeps the head aligned with the body (neutral position)

Why does my neck hurt at the base of my skull?

One very common cause of tension headaches is rooted in the neck, resulting from muscle tension and trigger points. At the base of the skull there is a group of muscles, the suboccipital muscles, which can cause headache pain for many people.

How do you treat occipital neuralgia?

Non-surgical TreatmentsHeat: patients often feel relief when heating pads or devices are placed in the location of the pain. … Physical therapy or massage therapy.Oral Medication: … Percutaneous nerve blocks: these injections can be used both to diagnose and treat occipital neuralgia.More items…

How can I treat occipital neuralgia at home?

How can I relieve pain from occipital neuralgia?Apply heat to your neck.Rest in a quiet room.Massage tight and painful neck muscles.Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, like naproxen or ibuprofen.

Where does occipital neuralgia hurt?

Occipital neuralgia is a distinct type of headache characterized by piercing, throbbing, or electric-shock-like chronic pain in the upper neck, back of the head, and behind the ears, usually on one side of the head. Typically, the pain of occipital neuralgia begins in the neck and then spreads upwards.

What drains to occipital lymph nodes?

The occipital lymph nodes, one to three in number, are located on the back of the head close to the margin of the trapezius and resting on the insertion of the semispinalis capitis. Their afferent vessels drain the occipital region of the scalp, while their efferents pass to the superior deep cervical glands.

How do they test for occipital neuralgia?

There is not one test to diagnose occipital neuralgia. Your doctor may make a diagnosis using a physical examination to find tenderness in response to pressure along your occipital nerve. Your doctor may diagnose — and temporarily treat — with an occipital nerve block.

Is occipital neuralgia a symptom of MS?

The association of trigeminal neuralgia with MS has been well documented and is typically related to a pontine lesion. Limited data exists regarding occipital neuralgia in patients with MS. We tested the hypothesis that occipital neuralgia in MS is associated with high cervical spinal cord lesions (C2-3).

Do oral steroids help occipital neuralgia?

Of the 16 patients receiving both treatments, 50% responded to both options, 37.5% responded to oral steroids only, and 6.3% responded to greater occipital nerve injections only. No adverse effects were documented from either treatment.

What triggers occipital neuralgia?

Occipital neuralgia is most commonly caused by pinched nerves in the root of a person’s neck. Sometimes this is caused by muscles that are too tight in a person’s neck. In some cases, it can be caused by a head or neck injury. Chronic neck tension is another common cause.

Does occipital neuralgia go away?

Some people with occipital neuralgia have symptoms that disappear for long periods, while others may have symptoms that are so severe and frequent that they are disabling. A common symptom of occipital neuralgia is a headache with pain at the back of the neck and up the head to the scalp.

How do you relax the occipital muscles?

Apply gentle pressure from your fingertips at the base of your skull. This massage can help calm tight muscles and release tension. You can also place a rolled towel under your head and neck as you lie down on your back. The pressure from the towel can provide a gentle massage.

Does occipital neuralgia show up on MRI?

Your doctor may also give you a shot to numb the nerve, called a nerve block, to see if it gives you relief. If it works, occipital neuralgia is likely the cause of the pain. You might also have blood tests or an MRI scan if your doctor thinks your case isn’t typical.

Does occipital neuralgia affect vision?

This pain is typically one-sided, although it can be on both sides if both occipital nerves have been affected. Additionally, the pain may radiate forward toward the eye, as it follows the path of the occipital nerve(s). Individuals may notice blurred vision as the pain radiates near or behind the eye.

Is massage good for occipital neuralgia?

Massage can be an effective way to relieve symptoms of occipital neuralgia, especially if from tight muscles. If your neck muscles are tight, then may cause entrapment of you nerve. During a massage session, your massage therapist will focus on these trigger points to help release any entrapment.

Does occipital neuralgia go away on its own?

Prognosis. Occipital neuralgia can last for a very long time, but it may stop by itself after a while. Generally, occipital neuralgia is a long-term condition that requires treatment to lessen the pain.