Do you have a headache or a very sensitive scalp on only one side of your head? With Occipital Neuralgia symptoms you would have a tingling or electrical impulse like feeling, a shooting pain or it may be a burning sensation or a continual throbbing on only one side of your head. It is often said to feel like a migraine. The occipital nerves only cover the back of the head and the scalp. The occipital nerves do not cover the areas around the ears or the face. There are two greater occipital nerves, one on the left side and one on the right side. They are completely independent of one another so when one is damaged or irritated it will only affect one side of the head. If you are experiencing pain in other areas you should check out the post on peripheral neuropathy.
Diagnosis can be very difficult. Often patients are sent for an MRI, CT or CAT scan. And sometimes a nerve blocking anesthesia may be administered by injection into the back of the neck as a test to see if that relieves the pain.
Occipital neuralgia is not a life-threatening condition.
Muscle relaxers and antidepressants are often prescribed. I discuss other treatment options here.
If the injection of a nerve blocking anesthesia had been given and was effective the Dr. may recommend injecting toxin to eliminate the nerve, surgically cutting the nerve or use of a radio-wave probe to burn the occipital nerve. In the video below Naum Shaparin, M.D, Director of Pain Service, Montefiore Medical Center discusses this option.
Often symptoms will disappear with heat, rest, relaxation, massage therapy or physical therapy. Dr. Labrums’ Neuropathy Solution is an excellent aid to relieving all forms of neurotic pain. The relaxation, stretching and diet guidelines in his 6-step program should be tried prior to taking prescription pain killers or a surgical procedure. Precription medications have so many side effects and surgical procedures often lead to more complications and are not reversible. Please take a moment to visit Dr. Labrums site by clicking on the picture below. You owe it to yourself.
“We are so accustomed to the comforts of “I cannot”, “I do not want to” and “it is too difficult” that we forget to realize when we stop doing things for ourselves and expect others to dance around us, we are not achieving greatness. We have made ourselves weak.”