Question: Is Occipital Neuralgia Curable?

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..

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).

Can Botox help occipital neuralgia?

Botox® injections can be helpful in treating both types of headaches, depending on each patient’s specific condition, and are particularly helpful for occipital neuralgia.

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.

Is there surgery for occipital neuralgia?

Surgical treatment options for occipital neuralgia For those who only get short-term relief from nonsurgical treatments, such as nerve blocks, surgery may be an option. Nerve decompression surgery, a relatively new type of surgery, has been shown to be effective in a significant number of patients.

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.

How do you get rid of occipital neuralgia?

Non-surgical TreatmentsHeat: patients often feel relief when heating pads or devices are placed in the location of the pain. … Physical therapy or massage therapy.Oral Medication: … Percutaneous nerve blocks: these injections can be used both to diagnose and treat occipital neuralgia.More items…

What medication is best 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.

Can you get disability for occipital neuralgia?

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.

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 heat or cold better for occipital neuralgia?

Apply ice/heat therapy. Ice therapy may reduce local inflammation and relieve pain. Tuck an ice pack under the base of your skull as you lie down. However, you may find more relief using heat therapy, such as an electric heating pad.

How does occipital neuralgia start?

Typically, the pain of occipital neuralgia begins in the neck and then spreads upwards. Some individuals will also experience pain in the scalp, forehead, and behind the eyes. Their scalp may also be tender to the touch, and their eyes especially sensitive to light.

Can a virus cause occipital neuralgia?

Occipital neuralgia The pain can sometimes include the forehead. It is suspected that tense muscles or ligaments may press against the nerve, causing irritation, inflammation and subsequent pain. Other causes may include viral infection, trauma to the neck or bad posture.

What causes occipital neuralgia to flare up?

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 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.

Can bad posture cause occipital neuralgia?

Posture issues may also cause occipital neuralgia if the patient’s head is often held forward and down, as this position can place excessive pressure on the nerve over time.

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 treat occipital neuralgia naturally?

You can try to: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.

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)