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Occipital Neuralgia

Occipital neuralgia affects the two occipital nerves that relay stimuli from the top and back of the head to the brain. Much like trigeminal neuralgia, the pain associated with the condition can range from mild to severe and last for varying lengths of time. Because there are two occipital nerves, one on each side of the head, the pain can involve one or both sides.



Tight muscles caused by stress can trap or put pressure on the occipital nerves. The nerves may also be trapped by pressure and inflammation associated with an injury or surgical procedure involving the scalp or back of the neck. Even though the condition is considered rare, your risks increase if you have received an injury to the back of the head.



The symptoms associated with occipital neuralgia can resemble electric shocks, tingling sensations, or varying degrees of pain. Symptoms can range from very mild to severe and last for almost any length of time. The pain may tend to radiate away from the source and possible shoot towards one eye.


Occipital Neuralgia Treatment Options

Botox injections are a common treatment option that is designed to tone down the pain associated with the over-stimulation of the nerves. Cauterizing the nerve with lasers is also an option but is used with great caution since this type of treatment may result in a permanent loss of sensation. Acupuncture is a popular option for individuals who are interested in alternative therapies.

While there is no cure for occipital neuralgia, people who are diagnosed with the condition can live a relatively normally life by following their doctor’s orders and using treatment options that work for them.

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