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occipital neuralgia

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Old 02-24-2006, 09:54 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 18
LJoy HB User
Unhappy occipital neuralgia

Do any of you have occipital neuralgia? I have had shooting pains on and off today, what do you do for them? I hope they go away soon.

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Old 02-24-2006, 11:36 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sunny San Diego, CA
Posts: 145
lestoby HB User
Re: occipital neuralgia

Hmm..... I had to Google "occipital neuralgia" to find a definition of this dx.

I have ALL of the symptoms described, but nobody ever told me that there was a clinical diagnosis for my problems. I always called the intense pain a "tension headache". But, I have had this pain for over 20 years due to a car accident, where my head was whipped sideways (not forward). All of my pain orginates on the R side of my neck.

Here are some relief remedies that work for me:

Tennis Ball - they are a godsend! My chiropractor recommended this remedy. Just lay on a tennis ball positioned at the base of your skull or on the crook of your scull and neck (where ever the pain is localized).

Ibuprofin - When the pain seems to creep from my neck to my skull to my eyes, I take about 800 mg of Ibuprofin - They are a muscle relaxer and not just a pain reliever. Just don't over do the meds! Ibuprofin can cause other side effects.

Funny thing... my 2 lesions are also located in my R occipital lobe. Don't know if the two are related. Doubt it.... but I am curious.

Old 10-05-2006, 04:30 PM   #3
Lady Painter
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Phoenix, Az
Posts: 3
Lady Painter HB User
Re: occipital neuralgia

I have Occipital neuralgia, as well as herniated discs, annular tears, stroke victim, lots and lots of things wrong with me. See Post on Annular tears.

But anyway..... occipital neuralgia is THE MOST PAINFUL thing I have ever experienced. I have laid in bed and begged to die. Here are a few things that will help.

Take a hot shower. The hottest water you can possibly stand. Let it run against the side of your head that hurts the most, should be the right side.

Massage. Try to find the trigger point. Take your thumb and massage it out. It will hurt like a _ _ but eventually it will help relief it some. It is even better if someone else will do it for you.

Sit on the edge of the bed. Have them kneel behind you. Take their knuckle and work from the base of the skull up to the trigger point. Have them stretch your head as far to the left as you can tolerate. Do that 5 times. Then to the right. ALWAYS do both sides. Then back and forward. Do not crack your back. That just pinches off the blood slupply and puts too much pressure on the nerves. Gentle, gentle stretching. Go slow.

The tip of my ear will hurt so bad I can't even stand a breeze across it. I will heat up a heating pad until it is nice and warm and flexible. Gently, oh so gently lay down on the heating pad. Gradually, wrap it around your head and just simply lay down and rest.
My pain never goes away. It is there always, waiting like a tiger to leap and ruin my day. It gets so bad my right eye feels like it is going to pop out of my head.
Do not let them tell you that you have TMJ. That is entirelly different. ON will hurt until it affects your face nerves. Then you tell the doctor that it hurt from the back of your skull clear into your face. Right away they are ready to jump in with a diagnosis of TMJ.
Most doctors are not familair with ON. Go to a pain specialist or a pain clinic.
Darvoset doesn't really take away the pain, but it does take it to a dull roar. And I get buzzed so I can deal with the pain.
Anxiety will also bring on an attack of ON. Atavin will help with that. Just don't take it with your pain meds. You will be walking into walls and staggering like a drunk, but hey, you won't care.

My heart goes out to you. I had never heard of such a thing. People that talk about ICE PICK PAIN - that is the precurser to ON.

Keep us posted on your progess. Remeber - heat and gentle stretchs.

Old 10-09-2006, 01:59 AM   #4
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Wanganui, New Zealand
Posts: 45
Re: occipital neuralgia

Hi - I so know what you're feeling - its the worst thing I've had to cope with - took me months to work out it was coming from my eyes! They no longer work together and that causes strain which then causes them to spasm, which then spreads to the occipitals.
I always used heat too, but was recently told to try cold packs, and it probably did work better that heat, though not as pleasant I find that either of those methods only help if the pain is fairly mild - if its worse, I take Imigran (imitrex in the states) injections - a migraine med that usually helps alot and quick, unless its a real doozie in which case the only hope is to lie as still as possible and wait, while trying to keep from loosing ones mind. One other thing - I always try not to lean forward during it - this always makes the spasms worse.

Old 10-14-2008, 05:58 PM   #5
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Jacksonville
Posts: 1
laurie13300 HB User
Question Re: occipital neuralgia

I started suffering from left sided head pain starting behind my ear, radiating to the top of my head as well down around my shoulder blades. I was referred to a spinal pain management specialist who diagnosed me with occipital neuralgia. I have undergone trigger point injections at the starting site (behind my ear). When that didn't work, my doctor tried "freezing" the nerve on two occassions. This only helped for about 2 weeks. The next thing done was a trial nerve stimulator. This helped while I was sedentary, but not while active. My insurance company would not approve the permanet implant. I recently underwent facet injections on the left and right side. Now, my physician wants to do a cervical radiofrequency neuralgy. I am not sure this will work because all procedures besides the trigger point injections occurred behind my ear which is where the pain originates. The other proecedures occur lower in my neck. They help from the neck down, but that is it. I still have pain radiating from the procedure point to the top of my head. Has anyone had the radiofrequency procedure or exerpienced anything like this?

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