Occipital neuralgia is the nerves that run through the spinal cord. If these nerves are inflamed or injured, you may feel intense pain in your head and on the base of your skull. This condition is known as occipital neuralgia. As the pain runs through the head and base of the head, therefore, people relate it with migraine and other types of headache.
Symptoms of occipital neuralgia may overlap with other condition. However, the symptoms of occipital neuralgia include:
- Pain in one or both side of the head
- Aching or burning sensation
- Pain behind the eye
- Throbbing pain
- Tender scalp
- Pain in head when you move your neck and head
- Pain starts from the base of the head and goes to the scalp
A cause of Occipital neuralgia is irritation in the nerves due to the pressure or injury. Sometimes the primary cause of occipital neuralgia is unknown. However, these problems are treatable. Furthermore, there are various medical conditions that can develop or contribute to occipital neuralgia, which include:
- Inflammation in blood vessels
- Tension in neck muscles
- Trauma or brutal impact on back of the head
- Tumors in the neck
- Cervical disk injury
Diagnosis of occipital neuralgia
In the diagnosis of occipital neuralgia, the doctor may ask various questions about the previous health and medical history. The doctor will do a brief physical exam. Doctor may also press the back of the head and neck to see whether the pain increases or not.
In some cases, the doctor can also ask you to grade your pain out of 10. So according to the severity of pain you can give number. Along with the physical exam, the doctor might recommend blood tests and MRI scans to determine the cause and the type of pain. MRI scans produce three dimensional images of the boy structure and helps to find the muscle and neurons problems.
In the diagnosis, the doctor may also recommend CT scan. This procedure shows the images if x-rays on the computer screen deeply. This can help to fins the root cause of the pain.
The right diagnosis is the first step towards the treatment. If you don’t get the diagnosis properly, or you get the treatment for migraine instead of occipital neuralgia, your condition may worsen.
After the right diagnosis, the first step is to reduce the pain in your affected area. There are various techniques to relieve the pain. You can use over the counter OTC or Opioid to reduce the pain. You can also buy pain tablets online to treat or minimize the pain. If you purchase the medicines online, you will not need the prescription of the doctor.
Occipital nerve stimulation
This technique is mostly used to block the pain message sent by the affected nerves. Doctors may use a device which is known as neurostimulator to send the electric pulse to the occipital nerves.
Micro vascular decompression
As you know, the pain can also occur due to the compression of nerves. So, doctor tries to find the veins that compress the nerves to relieve pain.
You can also use some remedies to make your pain bearable. For this purpose you can:
- Apply heat to the neck
- Massage your neck muscles
- Take OTC
- Take antidepressants
- Rest in healthy environment
Chances are high that all the above treatment can reduce and minimize your pain. However, if your pain is getting worse instead of getting better, surgery is the last option.