Occipital Neuralgia: Not Just A Headache

Mature woman crying, side view, close-up

Do you suffer from chronic headaches? Does it feel like a shooting pain behind your eyes? Does your entire scalp feel sore or tender? It could be more than just a headache. You may suffer from occipital neuralgia or occipital neuritis, causing chronic headaches and migraines.

Unfortunately, occipital neuralgia can go undiagnosed for years because symptoms mimic common headaches or migraines. However, if your doctor has diagnosed occipital neuralgia, many treatments offer relief from pain. The pain management specialists at Oklahoma Pain Management can provide minimally invasive treatment options, including occipital nerve blocks, so you can go back to living life to the fullest.

What is occipital neuralgia?

Occipital neuralgia occurs when one or both of the occipital nerves, which emerge from the spine in the upper neck and proceeds to the back of the head, become irritated or damaged. It often gets mistaken for a migraine or other types of headaches because the symptoms can be similar. Occipital neuralgia, however, is a distinct neurological disorder that requires specific treatment. Symptoms include:

  • Pain described as ‘shocks’, or electric
  • Sharp pain behind the eye
  • Sharp, burning, and throbbing pain that starts at the base of the head
  • Pain on one or both sides of the head
  • Sharp pain behind the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Extreme tenderness to the head and scalp

Occipital neuralgia may occur without much warning and could start after a surgery or scalp injury, or as a result of a pinched nerve root.

Oklahoma Pain Management can help

Although all patients and treatment plans are unique, Chronic Migraines or Occipital Neuralgia are commonly treated with Occipital Nerve Blocks. An Occipital Nerve Block is an injection of local anesthetic and steroid around the occipital nerve used to decrease inflammation and to relieve your chronic migraines.