Occipital Neuralgia

Occipital Neuralgia

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    While headaches and pain are both common, the actual condition of occipital neuralgia is not. People may believe their pain is due to the condition, but there are a number of other conditions that could cause similar symptoms. If you believe you have symptoms of occipital neuralgia, you may want to consult your doctor. They will be able to help determine what is causing your pain.

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    Occasionally, if you suffer from occipital neuralgia, you may also experience tenderness in your scalp. Some people also find that their eyes become more sensitive to light.

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    Occipital neuralgia is not a life-threatening condition. Many individuals improve with therapy involving heat, rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and muscle relaxants. Recovery is usually complete after the bout of pain has ended and the nerve damage repaired or lessened.

    This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
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    Often, there is little you can do for someone with occipital neuralgia. One way you can help is to make sure the person your caring for is sticking to their treatment plan and communicating any changes or complications to their doctor. Keep in mind that the pain caused by occipital neuralgia can be excruciating, and people who suffer from the condition may live in fear of an oncoming attack.

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    Some cases of occipital neuralgia can be prevented while other cannot. Most factors that cause the condition are unpredictable, such as injury, a tumor, or pressure from a nearby artery. However, for cases of occipital neuralgia caused by tight muscles, it is logical to assume that keeping your stress levels low and your muscles loose could help prevent the condition.

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    Managing your occipital neuralgia on a daily basis can be difficult. The pain is often severe, and episodes generally occur spontaneously. To get relief, you will need to work closely with your doctor to find the right treatment. Medications can help many manage the pain, and in some cases, a procedure may be able to fix your occipital neuralgia all together.

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    If tight muscles are causing your occipital neuralgia, you may not need any medication or invasive procedures to treat the problem. In fact, a good massage or some rest could be all the treatment you need. Application of heat is effective for some people as well.

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    Medications can treat occipital neuralgia by providing pain relief, helping your muscles relax, and numbing your occipital nerve. When the pain is particularly bad, antidepressants and muscle relaxants may help ease it. Anti-inflammatory medications can also help by reducing inflammation, which can take pressure off your occipital nerve. In some cases, your doctor may use an occipital nerve block to inject anesthetic and steroids into the nerve, numbing it. For a more permanent solution, your doctor can inject a toxin into your occipital nerve to kill it.

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    Your doctor may recommend trying some common treatments first for the pain of occipital neuralgia. If your occipital neuralgia is being caused by tight muscles, you may be able to fix the problem with a good massage, an anti-inflammatory, or a muscle relaxant. Tricyclic antidepressants are even used to relieve pain in some cases. Other treatments for occipital neuralgia may include an occipital nerve block. This procedure, in which a doctor injects a medication, anesthetic, or steroid into your occipital nerve, will not only provide you with some relief from the pain, but it will also help your doctor make a proper diagnosis. If those treatments do not work, your doctor or specialist may recommend a more permanent procedure to deaden the nerve. These procedures will cure the pain, but they are not without risk and can also lead to some permanent numbness.

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    If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of occipital neuralgia, it is a good idea to see your doctor. There are a number of reasons you may be experiencing the pain, and your doctor can help you determine whether occipital neuralgia is to blame. If it is occipital neuralgia, there are treatment options available, and the sooner you try your options, the sooner you may find some relief.