I have fibromyalgia and am invalid. If I could get rid of the occipital neuralgia (a migraine over entire cranium) I could get up and move around. My 50mcg of fentynil doesn't eliminate it. I am scheduled for a c1 and c2 nurve block or radiofrequecy and wonder if that will work?:(
Maybe your best bet is to regulate it with medicines that are known to slow migraine occurrences. They are seizure medications so the side effects can be annoying but it sure beats a migraine. A couple are topamax, cymblata and amitryptyline.
Nerve blocks may help for weeks to months, although many people get little to no relief. Nontheless, the risk of complications from nerve blocks is very low, so the procedures are usually worth doing. , Radio-frequency (RF) ablation does sometimes provide relief for a longer time (6 to 12 months being very common.) However, the pain can come back even worse with the RF, so it may be necessary to repeat the procedure.
Just as "tingles" suggested, it may be best in the long run to consider drugs that have been shown in studies to relief neuropathic pain. Your doctor should know which anti-seizure drugs and antidepressants to try. I have personally experienced relief with Cymbalta (and amitiptyline to a lesser degree,) but nobody can predict which drugs are likely to work for you.
I have fibromyalgia and am invalid. If I could get rid of the occipital neuralgia (a migraine over entire cranium) I could get up and move around. My 50mcg of fentynil doesn't eliminate it. I am scheduled for a c1 and c2 nurve block or radiofrequecy and wonder if that will work?
Occipital neuralgia is described as a burning/tingling and or shooting stabbing pain that follows the path of the occipital nerves in the back of the head. This is due to a compression somewhere along the path of the nerve, sometimes where it exits the c spine and others from compression of the muscles it passes through before it enters the back of the head, these muscles are the semispinalis and the trapezius muscles.
There is a problem within your neck/upper back area that you need to address. I would bet since you have symptoms of fibromyalgia that you have sore tight and restricted muscles. If one of the above mentioned muscles are restricted within the back part of your neck then that is why you are having the nerve pain in the back of your head. Another possibility could be a compression issue within your c1-c3.
Please try more conservative methods of pain relief first. When you surgically alter a nerve they can grow back and send off more severe pain signals than they were originally. Have you tried physical therapy, massage, accupuncture, myofacial release?
I don't mean to try to tell you what to do. I just wanted to try and better explain to you what is happening and why. Consider all of your options, and know that you are not alone.
I had stabbing/shooting pains in the left side of my head every day on and off for 9 months. It was agony.
I do not have any experience in migraines and although O.N. can feel like a migraine it is in itself a different demon with a separate cause.
I just had surgery for occipital neuralgia this past March with a doctor at Georgetown hospital named Ivica Ducic. It is one of two or three total surgeries. This first one addressed the shooting, stabbing, and throbbing pain from the base of my neck all the way to the top of my ear. I also normally have migraines 3-4 times a week and can't work or join or plan many family and friend events. This first surgery eliminated the occipital migraines. I am still having migraines in my temple and behind my eyes but NOT in my neck. So, the surgery so far has been successful in my opinion. I go for the next surgery on my temple at the end of July. Dr. Ducic is an amazing doctor and sure knows his stuff. He is one of the very few in the country that provide this surgery for pain relief and nerve decompression. T
If this helps even one person I will be very happy. I will post after my next surgery in July.
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I guess I forgot to mention the conservative therapies that I have done. Adding things in and taking stuff out of my diet, physical therapy, chronic pain psychiatry, massage therapy, acupuncture, all different kinds of meds, no meds, and tons of neuro visits. I can't chew gum and most of the time I can't get out of bed because of a migraine or because I am exhausted from one. I never have more than three
"good" days in a row. It has put a tremendous amount of work, energy and worry on my husband. To be honest I don't know how he has dealt with it this long, I don't know if I could have a spouse in bed 90%of the time, plus work, plus work travel, plus shuttling kids to and from actvities, etc. He truly is amazing. This surgery is my last resort and came with a lot of research, discussion, consultation, etc. If you have been through it all it is worth consideration.
Hello NiceShot, how are you doing since your surgery in July? I also have occipital Neuralgia headaches, and am trying to stay employed as I need my job. You mentioned Dr.Ducic? Have you ever heard of Dr.Jho in Pittsburgh, PA? He does some amazing work by decompressing at the C2 area. He has had great success helping people with Occipital Neuralgia.
Did you try Cymbalta? If so, what level of benefit did you receive? Nausea? Please take a look at my post that I posted today 1-5-2013 titled Occipital Neuralgia Headaches. I would greatly appreciate your input. I look forward to hearing about your surgery from last July.
So sorry to hear about your pain. I know exactly how you feel. I had heard somewhere on another post that muscle rubs can sometimes relieve nerve pain. I decided to try out a muscle rub called biofreeze gel and I continue to rub it in to relieve the muscle tightness and nerve pain. I don't know how it works but I do know that it helped me relieve the shooting pain in my head. You should either order some biofreeze online or try a different muscle rub and rub it in at the base of your neck/head area and shoulders for that matter and see if you notice a difference. I know you are probably thinking this is way too simple of a solution and I thought that as well but within 3 days of using it consistently the shooting pain was gone. I still use it today religiously. Please give Biofreeze a try and I hope my response helps you.
Misty, Thank You so much for your info. I will immediately start using BioFreze. Do you still have headaches? Do you also have muscle spasms in your neck? Do you also have herniaged cervical discs in your neck? I apologize for all of the questions. It is just a sign of my desperation from they symptoms. I look forward to hearing form you. Thank You! Kenny
My headaches have subsided a great deal. I occassionally have a flare up when I do too much activity or lift something overly heavy at work but on a normal day I do not get the intense headaches anymore. The stabbing pain was the worst part for me..the nerve firing and making my headaches more intense. I am thankful everyday that I am not currently dealing with it. I attribute the improvement to using biofreeze. I have no idea how or why it works I just know when I started using it 3 days later the pain let up. I still use it religously on my neck and shoulders. It helps and that is all that matters right?
I did have an MRI a while back that showed I had a bone spur on one of my cervical discs although now I can't remember which one. At that time I had no herniated discs and I still think I am ok there., For Now. I still have muscle tightness in my neck but whatever ingredients are in that muscle rub somehow block the pain from being referred into the head. I know that they are still tight and spasming because I have a lot of pulling on the left side of my neck.
Please understand this solution is not a cure..but it does seem to mask the pain. Make sure to continue trying to find the underlying cause of why this is happening to you.
Could you explain more about your problem and medical background? How did you develop symptoms and have you ever had any significant head/neck injuries?
I have tmj and my jaw does not sit correctly and therefore misalignes my spine and body.
Hope you have a wonderful day. Remember to just take it one day at a time Kenny.
Misty, did it take 3 days before you saw benefit from the BIofreeze? In addition to the head zings and neuo electric shocks did you have SEVERE headaches? Did you put the biofreeze on your neck AND the back of your head? My headaches on the base of my skull (lower back of head), on my head above my ears, and over my eyes on both sides of my head. It is challenging to stay focused on work due to the headaches. I am also facing another surgery. I have a torn tendon in my right leg. Despite the pain, I am trying to wait till I can have surgery for my head before my tendon surgery. I am not sure this is going to be possible, but that is my prayer. Thanks for staying in touch. Kenny
Misty, did it take 3 days before you saw benefit from the BIofreeze? In addition to the head zings and neuo electric shocks did you have SEVERE headaches? Did you put the biofreeze on your neck AND the back of your head? My headaches on the base of my skull (lower back of head), on my head above my ears, and over my eyes on both sides of my head. It is challenging to stay focused on work due to the headaches. I am also facing another surgery. I have a torn tendon in my right leg. Despite the pain, I am trying to delay the tendon surgery till after I get surgery for my headaches. I am not sure that will be possible, but that is my prayer. Thanks for staying in touch. Kenny