Occipital Neuralgia

This con­di­tion is a dis­tinct type of headache caused by irri­ta­tion or injury of the occip­i­tal nerves. These nerves trav­el from the base of the skull through the scalp. This con­di­tion can result in severe pain and mus­cle spasms.

Occip­i­tal neu­ral­gia can be caused by direct trau­ma to the back of the head or neck. It can be caused by over­ly tight mus­cles in the neck, or by com­pres­sion of the nerve roots. It can devel­op as a result of osteoarthri­tis. A local­ized infec­tion or tis­sue inflam­ma­tion, or a tumor or lesion can cause occip­i­tal neu­ral­gia. It can be caused by con­di­tions such as gout or dia­betes. And final­ly, it can devel­op from keep­ing the head in a down­ward and for­ward posi­tion for lengthy periods.

Symp­toms of occip­i­tal neu­ral­gia include pierc­ing, throb­bing, or elec­tric-shock-like pain. This pain begins in the upper neck and then spreads upward to the back of the head and behind the ears. It usu­al­ly affects only one side of the head, but it can be felt on both sides. In some cas­es the scalp becomes hyper­sen­si­tive. Activ­i­ties such as brush­ing or sham­poo­ing the hair or lying on a pil­low can be painful. The per­son may expe­ri­ence mus­cle spasms in the neck and a reduced abil­i­ty to flex or rotate the neck. The per­son may also expe­ri­ence extreme sen­si­tiv­i­ty to light, espe­cial­ly dur­ing a headache.

Treat­ment options may include mas­sage, phys­i­cal ther­a­py and med­ica­tions designed to reduce inflam­ma­tion. Options may also include nerve blocks and steroid injec­tions. If those meth­ods are not suc­cess­ful, surgery may be per­formed to decom­press the painful nerve root. Anoth­er option is the implan­ta­tion of a nerve stim­u­la­tor to block painful occip­i­tal nerve signals.

Click here review an illus­trat­ed expla­na­tion of Occip­i­tal Neu­ral­gia (Arnold’s Neu­ral­gia).
(Infor­ma­tion obtained from www​.viewmed​ica​.com 2012 Swarm Interactive).