Quick Answer: How Bad Can Occipital Neuralgia Get?

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..

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.

What makes occipital neuralgia worse?

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.

Should I go to the ER for occipital neuralgia?

Many patients with occipital neuralgia see only their primary care doctor who prescribes pain relievers or migraine medication. Worse yet, many patients are only seen in acute care settings such as the emergency room or urgent care, where a diagnosis as complex as occipital neuralgia is not even considered.

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.

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.

How long does occipital nerve block last?

The local anesthetic will wear off in 4 hours. At that time, your usual level of pain may return until the steroid starts working. This can take up to 2 weeks. Pain relief from an occipital nerve block usually will last for several months, but this may vary from patient to patient.

Will 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 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)

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…

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 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.