How Do I Know If I Have Occipital Neuralgia?

Is there a cure for occipital neuralgia?

Decompression surgery to open the area around the nerve also can be performed.

Although a specific cure for occipital neuralgia does not exist, there are many effective symptomatic treatment options..

How long does occipital neuralgia last?

This pain is described as intense, piercing, stabbing, and sharp. The episodes of intense pain may only last for a few minutes or seconds, but tenderness around the nerves may persist afterward. Like migraines, the pain may happen more on one side of your head than the other.

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.

When should I see a doctor for occipital neuralgia?

Occipital neuralgia can be very difficult to diagnose because of its similarities with migraines and other headache disorders. Therefore, it is important to seek medical care when you begin feeling unusual, sharp pain in the neck or scalp and the pain is not accompanied by nausea or light sensitivity.

How do you relax the occipital nerve?

Give yourself a neck massage. 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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

How do you 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.

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.

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.

Can sleeping wrong cause occipital neuralgia?

Sleeping Position Matters Failing to get adequate sleep and sleeping in the wrong position can intensify the pain. In fact, sleeping with a poor posture is a top cause of occipital neuralgia. People say they wake up with a stiff neck, which means a muscle is strained and nerves inflamed.