Quick Answer: How Painful Is Occipital Neuralgia?

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 long does occipital nerve block last?

The local anesthetic will wear off in 4 hours. At that time, your usual level of pain may return until the steroid starts working. This can take up to 2 weeks. Pain relief from an occipital nerve block usually will last for several months, but this may vary from patient to patient.

Can occipital neuralgia make you feel sick?

Irritation of an occipital nerve anywhere along its course can cause a shooting or stabbing pain in the neck, radiating over the head. Between bouts of shooting pain, there also can be a constant ache. Other symptoms can include dizziness and nausea.

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).

What does occipital neuralgia feel like?

Occipital Neuralgia is a condition in which the occipital nerves, the nerves that run through the scalp, are injured or inflamed. This causes headaches that feel like severe piercing, throbbing or shock-like pain in the upper neck, back of the head or behind the ears.

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 happens after occipital nerve block?

After an occipital nerve block, a patient can usually drive home and return to normal daily activities the following day. The effects of the local anesthetic may wear off in a few hours, but the effects of the steroid begin to increase over the next several days.

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.

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.

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.

What doctor do you see for 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.

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.

Will occipital neuralgia go away?

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.

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)

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.

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.

Is occipital neuralgia caused by stress?

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).

How do you treat occipital neuralgia naturally?

What natural home therapies help relieve head and scalp pain from an occipital neuralgia headache?heat,massage,rest,physical therapy,muscle relaxants, and.anti-inflammatory medications.