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Occipital Neuralgia Symptoms

Some of the most distinct

Occipital Neuralgia Symptoms

are severe pain that begins in the neck and travels upward to the scalp, causing painful headaches. Occipital nerve irritation causes headaches, which are characterized by stabbing pain or a feeling of electric shock to the head.  There are several treatments to relieve pain and reduce nerve sensitivity.

The term neuralgia is used to define the pain that occurs along a nerve.  In occipital neuralgia, the pain in one or both of the occipital nerves. T he occipital nerves are in the second and third vertebrae of the neck in the area where the neck and spine. Occipital nerve travels to each side of the head.

The occipital neuralgia symptoms include burning, throbbing or shooting pain in the upper neck, back of the head and the area behind the ears. You may also feel pain in the forehead, behind the eyes and scalp.  Scalp tenderness often accompanied by pain, making it difficult to do routine tasks such as brushing hair.  As the pain increases, it is possible that bright lights bother your eyes.

Occipital neuralgia can occur if the neck muscles are tight and may be the result of keeping the head in a downward position for long periods of time.  When tightening the muscles, occipital nerve is pinched and irritated.  Tumors, injury or arthritis of the neck can cause compression of the occipital nerves. Other possible causes of occipital neuralgia include trauma to the head or neck, cervical disc problems, diabetes, infections, gout or inflammation of blood vessels.  In some cases, there is no known cause.

A diagnosis is made based on medical history, symptoms and examination.  Your doctor may suggest you have a CT scan or MRI scan. These tests produce cross-sectional images of your neck, allowing your doctor to identify problem areas or structural compression of nerve in the neck or the spinal canal.

Occipital neuralgia may be relieved by simple measures at home. Applying heat to the area along with taking anti-inflammatory medication or muscle relaxants can loosen tight neck muscles and eliminate occipital neuralgia symptoms. Anticonvulsant drugs and physical therapy may also help to relieve pain. Nerve blocks can be used to diagnose occipital neuralgia pain. During a nerve block, injected steroids and local anesthetic through the scalp in the nerve, temporarily isolating the occipital nerve.