Questions and answers

What does occipital neuralgia feel like?

What does occipital neuralgia feel like?

Symptoms of occipital neuralgia include continuous aching, burning and throbbing, with intermittent shocking or shooting pain that generally starts at the base of the head and goes to the scalp on one or both sides of the head. Patients often have pain behind the eye of the affected side of the head.

How long does it take for occipital neuralgia to go away?

Most cases disappear in 1 to 2 months. In rare cases, it can last longer than a year.

Does optical neuralgia cause dizziness?

A person may also feel pain behind the eyes, in the upper part of the neck, and behind the ears. Additional symptoms of ON include: Light sensitivity. Dizziness and lightheadedness.

What can mimic occipital neuralgia?

Pain syndromes that may mimic supraorbital neuralgia include ice pick headache, trigeminal neuralgia involving the first division of the trigeminal nerve, demyelinating disease, and chronic paroxysmal hemicrania.

How do you calm occipital neuralgia?

You can try to:

  1. Apply heat to your neck.
  2. Rest in a quiet room.
  3. Massage tight and painful neck muscles.
  4. Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, like naproxen or ibuprofen.

What makes occipital neuralgia worse?

Occipital neuralgia is most commonly the result of trauma, such as whiplash or surgery. However, anything that irritates or compresses the occipital nerve may cause occipital neuralgia, including tight muscles, arthritic inflammation of the cervical vertebrae, or a tumor.

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.

Will occipital neuralgia show 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.

What infections cause occipital neuralgia?

possible etiology of occipital neuralgia. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) belongs to the alpha herpes virus group of the herpesvirus family [reviewed in 1]. This virus family is known for their special ability to cause latent infections in neurons.

How should you sleep with occipital neuralgia?

Sleep on your back. Use a pillow that supports the neck and keeps the head aligned with the body (neutral position) Avoid sleeping with the neck bent because that can increase pressure on the nerves. If sleeping on your side, be sure to use a pillow that does not raise the head higher than the shoulders.

What are symptoms of occipital neuralgia?

Symptoms. Occipital neuralgia can cause intense pain that feels like a sharp, jabbing, electric shock in the back of the head and neck. Other symptoms include: Aching, burning, and throbbing pain that typically starts at the base of the head and goes to the scalp.

Is there a cure for occipital neuralgia?

Some of our patients have essentially been “cured” of their condition. This means they no longer need medical therapy and rarely, if ever, have a headache. Though each individual case varies, if you suffer from occipital neuralgia there is a good chance your symptoms would be helped by either Botox® or surgery.

Does occipital neuralgia ever 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 can you relieve pain from occipital neuralgia?

Here’s how you can ease painful occipital neuralgia symptoms: Apply 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. Apply gentle pressure from your fingertips at the base of your skull.