What is Occipital Neuralgia?
The majority of the sensation in the back and top of the head is communicated to the brain by the two occipital nerves, which arise from the spine in the upper neck.
Occasionally, irritation of an occipital nerve can cause a shooting or stabbing pain in the neck, radiating over the head.
Symptoms can range from mild to severe and could include the following:
- Stabbing pain in the neck that radiated to the head
- General headaches
Causes and Risks
There are several medical conditions that are reported to be linked:
- Trauma to the back of the head or neck
- Chronic muscle tension of the neck
- Osteoarthritis of the cervical spine
- Degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine
Treatment and Prevention
Determining the true source of your pain is integral to successful treatment.
- Thorough clinical evaluation
- Occipital nerve blocks which can also help with occipital headaches.
- Testing may include X-rays, MRI and/or CT scans.