Quick Answer: How Long Does Occipital Neuralgia Last?

Does occipital neuralgia show up on MRI?

Radiographic imaging is of limited utility in the diagnosis of occipital neuralgia but is primarily concerned with excluding structural pathology of the cord, the spine, the occipital nerves or adjacent structures.

As such, MRI is best suited to this task 1,4..

Does stress cause occipital neuralgia?

Causes. Occipital neuralgia is caused by damage to the occipital nerves, which can arise from trauma (usually concussive or cervical ), physical stress on the nerve, repetitive neck contraction, flexion or extension, and/or as a result of medical complications (such as osteochondroma, a benign bone tumour).

Can you have surgery for occipital neuralgia?

Surgical treatment options for occipital neuralgia For those who only get short-term relief from nonsurgical treatments, such as nerve blocks, surgery may be an option. Nerve decompression surgery, a relatively new type of surgery, has been shown to be effective in a significant number of patients.

Can bad posture cause occipital neuralgia?

These tight muscles can also irritate the occipital nerves that pierce through these muscles, causing a particular type of headache called occipital neuralgia. Poor posture can lead to all sorts of shoulder problems.

What triggers occipital neuralgia?

What causes occipital neuralgia? Occipital neuralgia may occur spontaneously, or as the result of a pinched nerve root in the neck (from arthritis, for example), or because of prior injury or surgery to the scalp or skull. Sometimes “tight” muscles at the back of the head can entrap the nerves.

Can occipital neuralgia be cured?

Treatment of occipital neuralgia aims to alleviate the pain; however, it is not a cure. Interventions can be surgical or non-surgical.

How do you calm occipital neuralgia?

Finding occipital neuralgia pain reliefApply ice/heat therapy. Ice therapy may reduce local inflammation and relieve pain. … Take NSAIDs. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) are over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (e.g., Aleve). … Give yourself a neck massage.

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)

Is heat or cold better for occipital neuralgia?

Apply ice/heat therapy. Ice therapy may reduce local inflammation and relieve pain. Tuck an ice pack under the base of your skull as you lie down. However, you may find more relief using heat therapy, such as an electric heating pad.

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.

Is occipital neuralgia serious?

In occipital neuralgia, there are paroxysms of severe occipital pain, that often resemble severe migraines. The pain may be so severe that blood pressure rises to extreme levels.

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.

How do you diagnose occipital neuralgia?

There is no test to specifically diagnose or confirm occipital neuralgia. The diagnosis is made on physical examination findings such as a marked tenderness to pressure along the occipital nerve; palpation of this region often will reproduce or worsen the pain that the patient is experiencing.

How long does it take for occipital neuralgia to go away?

If the more conservative methods don’t work, your doctor can inject a local anesthetic to your occipital area. This can provide immediate relief, and it can last up to 12 weeks. Depending on the cause, your doctor may recommend surgery to decrease pressure on the nerves.

What happens if occipital neuralgia goes untreated?

Left untreated, complications of untreated occipital neuralgia can be serious or even life threatening. You can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you.

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).