Quick Answer: How Do You Get Rid Of Occipital Headaches?

How long do occipital headaches 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 causes occipital headache?

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.

Does 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.

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 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.

Why is the back of my head tender to touch?

Folliculitis, furunculosis, and carbunculosis are all infections of the hair follicles that can cause scalp sensitivity. These infections can be painful, sore, or warm to the touch. They often affect the back of the neck, the back of the scalp, or the armpit.

What does a headache in the back of the head indicate?

Tension headaches are the most common cause of pain. These headaches occur in the back and right side of the head. They may include a tightness of the neck or scalp. They feel like a dull, tight constricting pain that isn’t throbbing.

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.

How do you calm occipital neuralgia?

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 does occipital mean?

Occipital: 1. Pertaining to the occiput, the back of head. 2. Located near the occipital bone as, for example, the occipital lobe of the brain.

What is the best muscle relaxer 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 can I treat occipital neuralgia at home?

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 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).

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.

Why does my head hurt at the base of my skull?

One very common cause of tension headaches is rooted in the neck, resulting from muscle tension and trigger points. At the base of the skull there is a group of muscles, the suboccipital muscles, which can cause headache pain for many people.

How do you relax the occipital muscles?

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.

Why are my occipital muscles tight?

Occipital neuralgia happens when there’s pressure or irritation to your occipital nerves, maybe because of an injury, tight muscles that entrap the nerves, or inflammation. Many times, doctors can’t find a cause for it. Some medical conditions are linked to it, including: Trauma to the back of the head.

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).