10/8/07 #9 - Occipital Neuralgia?

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  • Full Question:
    After being a headache sufferer for over 40 years, I have just been diagnosed with occipital neuralgia. I have been treated for migraine, tension headache, TMJ syndrome, sinus headaches and some I can't even remember. When I do get a headache is it most always on the left side and where I really feel the pain is behind the left eye. I often get very nauseous with these and have always referred to them as my sick headaches. Do you have any information on occipital neuralgia? Thank you, Sabrina.





    Dear Sabrina;


    Occipital neuralgia (ON) is a chronic pain disorder caused by irritation or injury to the occipital nerve, or surrounding area, located in the back of the scalp. Individuals with the disorder experience pain originating at the nape of the neck. The pain, often described as throbbing and migraine-like, spreads up and around the forehead and scalp. Occipital neuralgia can result from physical stress, trauma, or repeated contraction of the muscles of the neck.

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    When the pain of ON is severe, the treatment is often local anesthetics such as Lidocaine or Marcaine injected or a long-acting anti-inflammatory subcutaneously. When this treatment is successful, the effects generally last for weeks or, rarely, perhaps months. Some of the same medications used for the prevention of tension headaches, cluster headaches, and Migraine are sometimes helpful for ON as well. For more information on preventive medications, see Migraine preventive medications: too many options to give up!


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert


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    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    © Teri Robert and J.C. Krusz, 2007.

Published On: October 08, 2007