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

Is occipital neuralgia serious?

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..

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.

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.

What type of pillow is best for occipital neuralgia?

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Can you see occipital neuralgia on an 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 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.

Why is occipital neuralgia worse at night?

Sleeping Position Matters Failing to get adequate sleep and sleeping in the wrong position can intensify the pain. In fact, sleeping with a poor posture is a top cause of occipital neuralgia. People say they wake up with a stiff neck, which means a muscle is strained and nerves inflamed.

Is occipital neuralgia a sign of MS?

In patients with multiple sclerosis, clinical features in occipital neuralgia that were predictive of the presence of a C2-3 lesion were unilateral episodic symptoms, sensory loss, later onset of occipital neuralgia, and progressive multiple sclerosis phenotype.

How long does occipital neuralgia last?

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. Like migraines, the pain may happen more on one side of your head than the other.

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.

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.

What is the best medicine 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.