What is Occipital Neuralgia?
When the nerves on each side of the head become inflamed or injured, this is known as occipital neuralgia. These nerves send feeling from the brain to the top and back of your head and stretched from the top of the spinal cord to the base of the neck to the scalp. Patients who experience occipital neuralgia may first think it’s just a headache or migraine. But this is a serious condition that requires treatment.
- Pain in the head and neck that begins at base of the head and moves to the scalp. The pain can be intense.
- Light sensitivity and pain that is behind the eye.
- A sensitive or tender scalp.
Possible Causes of Occipital Neuralgia
Occipital neuralgia has many causes that include neck tension, whiplash, a pinched nerve, osteoarthritis, cervical disc disease, blood vessel inflammation, gout, diabetes or an infection. A cause is not found in some cases.
The treatments include pain medicine and nerve blocks. In some patients, occipital nerve stimulation has provided some relief.