Does Occipital Neuralgia Go Away?

What doctor do you see for occipital neuralgia?

Your pain management specialist may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or muscle relaxants, and may recommend physical therapy as well.

In some cases, anti-seizure medications or antidepressants may be prescribed to help calm the occipital nerve..

Is occipital neuralgia a disability?

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.

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 painful is occipital neuralgia?

The primary symptom of occipital neuralgia is sudden, severe pain that many people associate with migraines. 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.

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)

Does stress cause occipital neuralgia?

Causes. 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).

How long does occipital neuralgia last?

Patients are able to go home the same day, and full recovery is generally expected within one or two weeks. In some cases, occipital release surgery only works temporarily, and the pain returns.

Does exercise help occipital neuralgia?

Do chin tucks regularly. Some cases of occipital neuralgia may be related to poor posture stressing the nerves. The chin tuck exercise aims to stretch the muscles and connective tissue in the painful area and strengthen the muscles that align your head over your shoulders.

How bad can occipital neuralgia get?

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. Some authors report eye pain from occipital neuralgia.

What causes tight occipital?

Occipital neuralgia happens when there’s pressure or irritation to your occipital nerves, maybe because of an injury, tight muscles that entrap the nerves, or inflammation. Many times, doctors can’t find a cause for it.

How can I treat occipital neuralgia at home?

How can I relieve pain from occipital neuralgia?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.

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 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.

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.

Is there a cure for occipital neuralgia?

Decompression surgery to open the area around the nerve also can be performed. Although a specific cure for occipital neuralgia does not exist, there are many effective symptomatic treatment options.

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.