Treatment & Cure for Occipital Neuralgia

Published: 26th November 2010
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Millions of people suffer from headaches. Thіѕ repeatedly causes missed work days, less productive days and less enjoyable days. Migraine can be explained as a specific intracranial vascular headache. Often Migraine is the term mistakenly used to describe other types of headaches. There are many other causes for headache and many of them are caused by nerve dysfunction.

Occipital neuralgia is a form of headache initiating in the occipital nerves, which extend from the upper neck to the rear and top of the head. It has a many potential causes, like pinched nerves, direct trauma, diabetes, gout, infection and blood vessel inflammation. It may also occur without a known cause. Treatment or cure for occipital neuralgia involves alleviation of symptoms, as well as resolution of any underlying conditions.

Discovering the Occipital Neuralgia

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the first signs of occipital neuralgia are a constant throbbing pain that radiates from one side of your neck to the back of your head and behind your ear. The symptoms may also affect both sides of your head, or extend to your forehead, scalp or the region behind your eyes. Normally, your pain levels will worsen intermittently, causing a shocking or piercing sensation. Sometimes while moving your neck or brushing your hair the symptoms will worsen or aggravate. As soon as such symptoms are seen proper diagnosis are necessary by a qualified doctor.

Many symptoms of common headaches like migraine and cluster headaches are found similar in occipital neuralgia. A proper diagnosis by doctor may include a temporary procedure called percutaneous nerve block, involving injection of a small amount of local anesthetic under the skin near your occipital nerves. If the pain is relieved by this injection then occipital neuralgia is recognized as the reason of the painful problem.

Preliminary Treatments for Occipital Neuralgia:

1. Common Methods

Typically, treatment for occipital neuralgia begins with traditional methods intended to diminish or alleviate your pain include simple rest and the periodic application of a heat source to the affected area. It includes treatment with physical therapy and massage, as well as anti-inflammatory medications or muscle relaxants. Additionally, the doctor may choose to tackle your pain through use of antidepressants, or anti-convulsant medications such as gabapentin or carbamazepine.

2. Nerve Block

The combination of these approaches is effective in most of the cases, to bring a relief to the throbbing pain, but still if the pain persists then, the doctor may choose to continue treatment with percutaneous nerve blocks, either of the occipital nerves themselves or of the nerve roots at your C2 or C3 neck vertebrae. Here local anesthetic will be combined with an anti-inflammatory steroid compound. The long-lasting effectiveness of this technique requires repeated injections of these medications.

3. Surgical Options

In case of more severity of the pain the doctor may consider surgical methods of symptom relief. Microvascular decompression is a technique that involves identifying and slightly relocating any blood vessels that may be intruding upon your nerves. Occipital nerve stimulation involves placing lead wires under the skin that transmit electrical impulses to block pain messages sent by your brain.

All of the above mentioned treatments should be carried under proper and efficient medical supervision. For more information please visit our website

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