Question: How Do I Know If I Have Occipital Neuralgia?

Does occipital neuralgia go away on its own?

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 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.

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 serious is occipital neuralgia?

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.

How long does occipital neuralgia last?

Occipital neuralgia can last for hours or for several days. Other symptoms of occipital neuralgia may include: Aching, burning, and throbbing pain that typically starts at the base of the head and radiates to the scalp. Pain on one or both sides of the head.

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.

When should I see a doctor for occipital neuralgia?

Occipital neuralgia can be very difficult to diagnose because of its similarities with migraines and other headache disorders. Therefore, it is important to seek medical care when you begin feeling unusual, sharp pain in the neck or scalp and the pain is not accompanied by nausea or light sensitivity.

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 relax the occipital muscles?

Give yourself a neck massage. 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.

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.

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.

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 do you test for occipital neuralgia?

There is not one test to diagnose occipital neuralgia. Your doctor may make a diagnosis using a physical examination to find tenderness in response to pressure along your occipital nerve. Your doctor may diagnose — and temporarily treat — with an occipital nerve block.