Neuralgia occipital nerve is one of the most common reasons of headache. In this case, the pain is called two pairs of occipital nerves, which emerge from the vertebral column in the region of the second and third vertebrae of the cervical.
With such a neuralgia pain usually develops in the occipital region, and then may extend to the front and side of the head and eyes.
What are the causes of pain?
This pain syndrome may be primary and secondary. Causes of secondary pain syndrome are generally a variety of diseases, such as infectious process, trauma, brain tumor. It is also possible the appearance of the pain syndrome on the background of different systemic diseases.
Very often the pain in neuralgia of the occipital nerve confused with migraine
Any of the above diseases may be the cause of occipital neuralgia, the pain is often associated with constant contraction of the muscles of the neck. In some cases, the cause of this pain syndrome can not be identified, then we speak of primary, or idiopathic neuralgia.
The main causes of secondary neuralgia small or great occipital nerve are:
- injury to these nerves;
- diseases of the intervertebral discs in the cervical spine;
- osteoarthritis of the joints, which appeared in the joints of the upper cervical vertebrae;
- compression of the occipital nerves, which appeared due to the development of degenerative changes of the spine (osteochondrosis, etc. diseases);
- tumors that struck the second or third nerve root of the cervical;
- inflammation of the blood vessels.
The main symptoms of the problem
The main symptom of this problem is a severe throbbing burning pain, long enough and in some cases turns into shooting pain. Patients often perceive pain such as migraine, when really it can be some characteristic of cluster headaches and migraines signs.
Most often, the pain of this neuralgia is unilateral, but in some cases may be present on both sides. Some patients have early pain may contribute to some movements of the neck. In this case, it is very sensitive scalp, causing even simple combing can cause pain.
How to treat neuralgia?
It should be particularly noted that the treatment of such diseases should engage a qualified doctor. Of course, there are several simple and affordable techniques that help to ease the pain, but this solution is only temporary, it does not affect the cause of the pain, so she through time will still come back.
When the treatment is performed by a doctor, he is occupied primarily with finding and eliminating the causes of such pain. Naturally, the treatment includes methods to help remove or loosen himself pain. For example, well relieve pain physical therapy and heat treatments, even regular rest to some extent weakens the pain. Can also be applied non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants. Can also be used other methods to remove pain.
It should be noted that when the diagnosis of “neuralgia of the occipital nerve” is often used surgical treatment. In this case, the operation itself usually has one goal – to carry out decompression of the occipital nerves. However, note that, by itself, surgery in any case carries some degree of risk.
In recent times it has gained some popularity method of stimulation of the occipital nerves. Side effects this method has not, however, he relieves pain. Also, this method is less invasive, but in fact it is the only method of pain relief, not treatment, therefore, to examine it in detail, we will not.