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

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.

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.

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)

Where does occipital neuralgia hurt?

Occipital neuralgia is a distinct type of headache characterized by piercing, throbbing, or electric-shock-like chronic pain in the upper neck, back of the head, and behind the ears, usually on one side of the head. Typically, the pain of occipital neuralgia begins in the neck and then spreads upwards.

How do you get rid of occipital neuralgia?

Non-surgical TreatmentsHeat: patients often feel relief when heating pads or devices are placed in the location of the pain. … Physical therapy or massage therapy.Oral Medication: … Percutaneous nerve blocks: these injections can be used both to diagnose and treat occipital neuralgia.More items…

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.

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.

Does occipital neuralgia show up on MRI?

Your doctor may also give you a shot to numb the nerve, called a nerve block, to see if it gives you relief. If it works, occipital neuralgia is likely the cause of the pain. You might also have blood tests or an MRI scan if your doctor thinks your case isn’t typical.

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.

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.

What kind of doctor do you see for occipital neuralgia?

Neurologists and primary care doctors familiar with these neuralgias will often use specialized medications to treat patients with occipital neuralgia.

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.