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Doctor insights on: Occipital Neuralgia

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Dr. Mark Khorsandi
78 Doctors shared insights

Occipital Neuralgia (Overview)

This condition is an irritation of one or both branches of the occipital after exiting from the base of the skull at right or left suboccipital regions. It is thought to be primarily a consequence of cranial muscle contracture or spasm around the nerve.


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Can occipital neuralgia be one sign of multiple sclerosis?

Can occipital neuralgia be one sign of multiple sclerosis?

Very very rarely!: Different types of neuralgia can be seen in ms including occipital neuralgia. Almost all of the time, these occur in patients who have already been diagnosed with ms. It is extremely unlikely for it to be the presenting symptom. Most likely you have already had a brain MRI for your headache. If that is clear, I say chances are very very low that you will go on to develop ms. Hope this helps!

Dr. Mark Khorsandi
78 Doctors shared insights

Occipital Neuralgia (Overview)

This condition is an irritation of one or both branches of the occipital after exiting from the base of the skull at right or left suboccipital regions. It is thought to be primarily a consequence of cranial muscle contracture or spasm around the nerve.


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Are there any successful treatments for occipital neuralgia complex?

Are there any successful treatments for occipital neuralgia complex?

Many: Medication & therapy are the joint "first line" treatments, as they are with other nerve compression syndromes (like carpal tunnel). However, as the disease progresses, surgical nerve decompression becomes necessary to treat the disease.

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Dr. Brian Le Dr. Le
2 doctors agreed:
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What is occipital neuralgia complex?

Dr. Brian Le Dr. Le
2 doctors agreed:

Occipital neuralgia: Occipital neuralgia is a neurological condition in which the occipital nerves (the nerves run from the top of the cervical spine up through the scalp) are inflamed or injured. Occipital neuralgia is characterized by severe pain that begins in the upper neck and back of the head as well as chronic headache.

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What are symptoms of occipital neuralgia?

Sharp pain in back: Of head at base of neck to scalp and can radaite to behind the eyes, cause unknown but trauma, tight muscles stress, lack of sleep or food bets is to get mri of head to be sure no tumor, then take excedrin, next try gabapentin[antiseizure meds] ice pack and or heat, rolled towel behind neck, let head fall back over towel to ease tension, osteopathic or massage therapy, physical therapy

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Can posture improve occipital neuralgia from smartphone use?

Can posture improve occipital neuralgia from smartphone use?

Possibly. Try to: Talk in a comfortable position with your neck not bent at an angle, and see if this helps.

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What is the definition or description of: occipital neuralgia?

Nerve irritation: This condition is an irritation of one or both branches of the occipital after exiting from the base of the skull at right or left suboccipital regions. It is thought to be primarily a consequence of cranial muscle contracture or spasm around the nerve.

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If left untreated, can bilateral occipital neuralgia resolve on its own?

It is possible: Only if neuralgia is secondary to another condition, it may eventually resolve on its own.

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What pain/symptoms does occipital neuralgia cause?

What pain/symptoms does occipital neuralgia cause?

Typical: Unilateral occipital head pain, usually of a burning or electrical nature, associated with a pain trigger at base of skull behind mastoid bone, and perhaps local numbness over the distribution of the Greater Occipital Nerve of Arnold. Would further discussion via Concierge visit provide assistance?

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How successful have surgeries been for occipital neuralgia?

How successful have surgeries been for occipital neuralgia?

Highly: I perform this procedure. In my experience, greater occipital nerve decompression is highly effective. Over 95% of patients who I have performed this surgery have complete relief of symptoms, and it is immediate. Occipital neuralgia is very debilitating and commonly a cause of migraine headaches. In reality it is a nerve compression of the greater ; lesser occipital nerves. Nerves cause pain.

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I have occipital neuralgia and medications and nerve blocks have stopped working. I have read about surgical options. What would you recommend I do be?

I have occipital neuralgia and medications and nerve blocks have stopped working. I have read about surgical options. What would you recommend I do be?

Nerve pain: Occipital neuralgia may at times be secondary to nerve root irritation in the upper cervical spine. For cases that fail to respond to blocks, I have successfully used peripheral nerve stimulation. It is a form of implanted device and can work extremely well.

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Can a TENS unit be bellful to Occipital Neuralgia pain?

Can a TENS unit be bellful to Occipital Neuralgia pain?

Any NERVE: Mediated pain may respond to TENS however Occipital Neuralgia more often responds to interventional injections (steroids/BOTOX)
Hope this is helpful!
Dr Z

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Are there any successful treatments for occipital neuralgia complex?

Many: Medication & therapy are the joint "first line" treatments, as they are with other nerve compression syndromes (like carpal tunnel). However, as the disease progresses, surgical nerve decompression becomes necessary to treat the disease.

See 2 more doctor answers
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If I have occipital neuralgia, can I get headaches on the top of my head?

If I have occipital neuralgia, can I get headaches on the top of my head?

Definitely, yes: Occipital neuralgia involves the greater and lesser occipital nerves located in the back of the scalp and can produce neck pain as well as headache with radiated pain to the top of the head and behind the eye.

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Occipital neuralgia: can I get headaches on the top of my head, what to do?

Occipital neuralgia: can I get headaches on the top of my head, what to do?

Occipital nerve bloc: Occipital neuralgia can result in headaches on top of your head. I would see a pain physician and explore the possibility of getting an occipital nerve block injection with steroids. Another alternative are botox injections in the occipital area. Finally for patients refractory to such injections, occipital nerve decompression performed by a surgeon can be very effective.

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How far up on the head does occipital neuralgia pain go? Does it cause needle like pains in head?

All, of it: The occipital nerves supply sensation to, the skull. Is the greater occipital Nerves are irritated, pain can be experienced over the top and into the eye. Lesser occipitals cause pain in the shape, of a banana over the top, of the ears and sides of, the skull. There are good treatments for this. See your local, pain Doctor.

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Can occipital neuralgia be one sign of multiple sclerosis?

Very very rarely!: Different types of neuralgia can be seen in ms including occipital neuralgia. Almost all of the time, these occur in patients who have already been diagnosed with ms. It is extremely unlikely for it to be the presenting symptom. Most likely you have already had a brain MRI for your headache. If that is clear, I say chances are very very low that you will go on to develop ms. Hope this helps!

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What do I do for chronic pain for spondylosis & occipital neuralgia...

What do I do for chronic pain for spondylosis & occipital neuralgia...

Pain management: You should see a pain management specialist. He can recommend you a range of options including desensitization, PT, neuropathic pain meds, blocks, radio frequency, stimulator

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Dr. Jeffrey Cohen
1,915 Doctors shared insights

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Dr. Lawrence Kessler
842 Doctors shared insights

Nerve Pain (Definition)

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