Quick Answer: What Happens If Occipital Neuralgia Goes Untreated?

Does occipital neuralgia show up on MRI?

Radiographic imaging is of limited utility in the diagnosis of occipital neuralgia but is primarily concerned with excluding structural pathology of the cord, the spine, the occipital nerves or adjacent structures.

As such, MRI is best suited to this task 1,4..

Is occipital neuralgia caused by stress?

Occipital neuralgia is caused by damage to the occipital nerves, which can arise from trauma (usually concussive or cervical ), physical stress on the nerve, repetitive neck contraction, flexion or extension, and/or as a result of medical complications (such as osteochondroma, a benign bone tumour).

Can bad posture cause occipital neuralgia?

These tight muscles can also irritate the occipital nerves that pierce through these muscles, causing a particular type of headache called occipital neuralgia. Poor posture can lead to all sorts of shoulder problems.

How long does it take for occipital neuralgia to go away?

If the more conservative methods don’t work, your doctor can inject a local anesthetic to your occipital area. This can provide immediate relief, and it can last up to 12 weeks. Depending on the cause, your doctor may recommend surgery to decrease pressure on the nerves.

Do I need to see a doctor for occipital neuralgia?

Occipital neuralgia can be very difficult to diagnose because of its similarities with migraines and other headache disorders. Therefore, it is important to seek medical care when you begin feeling unusual, sharp pain in the neck or scalp and the pain is not accompanied by nausea or light sensitivity.

Can occipital neuralgia resolve itself?

Occipital neuralgia is a type of nerve pain that can lead to headaches. It can occur when there is pressure or damage to the occipital nerves. These start in the neck and run up the sides of the head. In most cases, the pain will improve with home remedies or medication.

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 a virus cause occipital neuralgia?

Occipital neuralgia The pain can sometimes include the forehead. It is suspected that tense muscles or ligaments may press against the nerve, causing irritation, inflammation and subsequent pain. Other causes may include viral infection, trauma to the neck or bad posture.

What kind of doctor do you see for occipital neuralgia?

Your pain management specialist may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or muscle relaxants, and may recommend physical therapy as well. In some cases, anti-seizure medications or antidepressants may be prescribed to help calm the occipital nerve.

Is occipital neuralgia a symptom of MS?

The association of trigeminal neuralgia with MS has been well documented and is typically related to a pontine lesion. Limited data exists regarding occipital neuralgia in patients with MS. We tested the hypothesis that occipital neuralgia in MS is associated with high cervical spinal cord lesions (C2-3).

How can I treat occipital neuralgia at home?

Finding occipital neuralgia pain reliefApply ice/heat therapy. Ice therapy may reduce local inflammation and relieve pain. … Take NSAIDs. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) are over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (e.g., Aleve). … Give yourself a neck massage.

Does occipital neuralgia go away?

Prognosis. Occipital neuralgia can last for a very long time, but it may stop by itself after a while. Generally, occipital neuralgia is a long-term condition that requires treatment to lessen the pain.

Can 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.

Is occipital neuralgia life threatening?

Occipital neuralgia is not a life-threatening condition. Most people get good pain relief by resting and taking medication.

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)

What medication is best for occipital neuralgia?

What medications can you use to treat occipital neuralgia?Prescription muscle relaxants.Antiseizure drugs, such as carbamazepine (Tegretol) and gabapentin (Neurontin)Antidepressants.Nerve blocks and steroid shots. The nerve block that your doctor might do to diagnose your condition can be a short-term treatment, too.