Can You Have Surgery For Occipital Neuralgia?

What is the best treatment for occipital neuralgia?

Non-surgical TreatmentsHeat: patients often feel relief when heating pads or devices are placed in the location of the pain.

Physical therapy or massage therapy.Oral Medication: …

Percutaneous nerve blocks: these injections can be used both to diagnose and treat occipital neuralgia.More items….

Does occipital neuralgia show up on MRI?

Your doctor 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. You might also have blood tests or an MRI scan if your doctor thinks your case isn’t typical.

Can you get disability for occipital neuralgia?

Other types of headaches, such as cluster headaches, trigeminal neuralgia, or occipital neuralgia, may also qualify you for Social Security disability benefits if the headaches prevent you from working.

Can the occipital nerve be removed?

Surgical options include occipital release surgery. In this outpatient procedure, your doctor makes an incision in the back of the neck to expose your occipital nerves and release them from the surrounding connective tissue and muscles that may be compressing them.

What type of doctor do I see for occipital neuralgia?

Neurologists and primary care doctors familiar with these neuralgias will often use specialized medications to treat patients with occipital neuralgia. Drugs that work primarily on nerves themselves, such as Neurontin, may be utilized.

How do you treat occipital neuralgia naturally?

You can try to:Apply heat to your neck.Rest in a quiet room.Massage tight and painful neck muscles.Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, like naproxen or ibuprofen.

How do you sleep with occipital neuralgia?

The best way to sleep with occipital neuralgia is in a position that does not place more pressure on the nerves. Following are some guidelines: Sleep on your back. Use a pillow that supports the neck and keeps the head aligned with the body (neutral position)

Does stress make occipital neuralgia worse?

Some cases of occipital neuralgia may be related to poor posture stressing the nerves. The chin tuck exercise aims to stretch the muscles and connective tissue in the painful area and strengthen the muscles that align your head over your shoulders. Stand with your upper back against a wall, feet shoulder-width apart.

Will Botox help occipital neuralgia?

Botox® injections can be helpful in treating both types of headaches, depending on each patient’s specific condition, and are particularly helpful for occipital neuralgia.

What triggers occipital neuralgia?

What causes occipital neuralgia? Occipital neuralgia may occur spontaneously, or as the result of a pinched nerve root in the neck (from arthritis, for example), or because of prior injury or surgery to the scalp or skull. Sometimes “tight” muscles at the back of the head can entrap the nerves.

Can bad posture cause occipital neuralgia?

Posture issues may also cause occipital neuralgia if the patient’s head is often held forward and down, as this position can place excessive pressure on the nerve over time.

How bad can occipital neuralgia get?

The occipital nerves run from the top of your spinal cord to your scalp. Unlike headaches or migraines, occipital neuralgia can be triggered quickly, even with a simple touch like brushing your hair. The most severe part of the attacks is brief, with intense, sharp pain lasting only a few seconds to a few minutes.

What happens if occipital neuralgia goes untreated?

Left untreated, complications of untreated occipital neuralgia can be serious or even life threatening. You can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you.

Is there surgery for occipital neuralgia?

Surgical treatment options for occipital neuralgia For those who only get short-term relief from nonsurgical treatments, such as nerve blocks, surgery may be an option. Nerve decompression surgery, a relatively new type of surgery, has been shown to be effective in a significant number of patients.