How to know if you have occipital neuralgia

It’s estimated that occipital neuralgia affects about three out of every 100,000 people every year. What are the symptoms of occipital neuralgia? The primary symptom of occipital neuralgia is sudden, severe pain that many people associate with migraines. This pain is described as intense, piercing, stabbing, and sharp.

How common is occipital neuralgia?

It’s estimated that occipital neuralgia affects about three out of every 100,000 people every year. What are the symptoms of occipital neuralgia? The primary symptom of occipital neuralgia is sudden, severe pain that many people associate with migraines. This pain is described as intense, piercing, stabbing, and sharp.

How do you know if you have a migraine headache?

Symptoms. 1 Aching, burning, and throbbing pain that typically starts at the base of the head and goes to the scalp. 2 Pain on one or both sides of the head. 3 Pain behind the eye. 4 Sensitivity to light. 5 Tender scalp. 6 Pain when you move your neck.

What does occipital neuralgia feel like?

Like migraines, the pain may happen more on one side of your head than the other. Occipital neuralgia episodes are unlikely to have symptoms like eye watering or eye redness, which is common with other primary headache disorders. Unlike tension headaches, occipital neuralgia episodes feel more like stabbing pain instead of a dull throbbing.

How is an occipital nerve block diagnosed?

Your doctor may make a diagnosis using a physical examination to find tenderness in response to pressure along your occipital nerve. Your doctor may diagnose — and temporarily treat — with an occipital nerve block. Relief with a nerve block may help to confirm the diagnosis.

What is occipital neuralgia?

Occipital neuralgia. Occipital neuralgia is a medical condition characterized by chronic pain in the lower neck, back of the head and behind the eyes. These areas correspond to the locations of the lesser and greater occipital nerves.

How do you know if you have occipital neuralgia?

She’ll press firmly around the back of your head to see if she can reproduce your pain. She may also give you a shot to numb the nerve, called a nerve block, to see if it gives you relief. If it works, occipital neuralgia is likely the cause of the pain.

Can occipital neuralgia be on both sides?

Occipital neuralgia is characterized by severe pain that begins in the upper neck and back of the head. This pain is typically one-sided, although it can be on both sides if both occipital nerves have been affected.

Can percutaneous nerve blocks help occipital neuralgia?

Percutaneous nerve blocks not only may be helpful in diagnosing occipital neuralgia, but they can help alleviate pain as well. Nerve blocks involve either the occipital nerves or, in some patients, the C2 and/or C3 ganglion nerves.