Question: What Happens If Occipital Neuralgia Goes Untreated?

How do you relax the muscles in the back of your head?

Simple neck stretch Lightly place your right hand on the back your head and allow the weight of your hand to push your chin down toward the right side of your chest.

Relax your muscles and hold your head in this position for 15 seconds.

Repeat this stretch three times on each side..

Does occipital neuralgia come and go?

Headaches that occur due to occipital neuralgia can be very painful. The condition involves a sudden but intermittent piercing, shooting, or shock-like pain. This may last from a few seconds to several minutes. There may also be a persistent throbbing, burning, or aching pain that continues between the spasms.

Is occipital neuralgia a disability?

Other types of headaches, such as cluster headaches, trigeminal neuralgia, or occipital neuralgia, may also qualify you for Social Security disability benefits if the headaches prevent you from working.

How do you sleep with occipital neuralgia?

Sleep on your back. Use a pillow that supports the neck and keeps the head aligned with the body (neutral position) Avoid sleeping with the neck bent because that can increase pressure on the nerves. If sleeping on your side, be sure to use a pillow that does not raise the head higher than the shoulders.

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.

Is occipital neuralgia caused by stress?

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).

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 long does it take for occipital neuralgia to go away?

Patients are able to go home the same day, and full recovery is generally expected within one or two weeks. In some cases, occipital release surgery only works temporarily, and the pain returns.

Can occipital neuralgia resolve itself?

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.

Do I need to 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.

Is occipital neuralgia serious?

Common symptoms of occipital neuralgia You may experience occipital neuralgia symptoms daily or just once in a while. At times, any of these symptoms can be severe: Numbness or loss of function in the back of your head, scalp or neck.

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.

How do you relax the occipital muscles?

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.

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.

What is the difference between migraine and occipital neuralgia?

But that’s where the similarities end. Occipital neuralgia and migraines require different treatments because their sources of pain are different. Migraines are related to changes in the brain. Occipital neuralgia is due to compressed or irritated nerves that run from the neck, up the back of the head to the scalp.

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.

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.

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).