About Occipital Neuralgia
Occipital neuralgia is a nerve-related condition that involves dysfunction and inflammation of the occipital nerves. The occipital nerves are two pairs of nerves that originate near the second and third vertebrae of the neck. Generally, patients are able to pinpoint the location of the pain to the area just below the base of their skull. Injury to these nerves from trauma, entrapment of the nerves, or inflammation can cause nerve dysfunction and severe radiating pain.
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Symptoms of Occipital Neuralgia
Pain from occipital neuralgia typically starts at the base of the skull by the nape of the neck and then spreads upward across the back of your skull, over the top of the head and even sometimes to the area just above your eyes. Patients describe the pain as a sharp shooting burning pain oftentimes made worse with applying pressure over the course of the nerve.
Treatments for Occipital Neuralgia
Nonsurgical treatment options for occipital neuralgia can include medications, physical therapy and if needed ultrasound guided steroid injections around the nerve. Ospina Medical also offers Regenexx regenerative medicine procedures called platelet lysate (PL) nerve hydrodissection procedures that may be used to treat occipital neuralgia. PL nerve hydrodissection is a procedure that utilizes live ultrasound guidance and a small needle to safely inject platelet lysate around the inflamed or irritated occipital nerves and free them from areas of compression or entrapment within tissue. With this technique, our providers are able to dramatically improve pain, free the nerve from compression, and by using platelet lysate, promote a healthier healing environment for inflamed nerves.
If you are interested to learn more about Regenexx and what treatment options are available, please call Ospina Medical in Midtown Manhattan to book your appointment today.
Occipital Neuralgia FAQ
Do the injection treatments (steroids and platelet lysate) for occipital neuralgia hurt?
Most patients don’t experience undue discomfort, like with any other injection. We use small needles and ultrasound guidance to precisely target the treatment area.
What causes occipital neuralgia?
Occipital neuralgia is most commonly caused by a pinched nerve(s) in the base of the neck. Often these pinched nerves are a result of chronic neck tension or an injury.
Does stress cause occipital neuralgia?
Yes, if you hold stress in your neck or back muscles, you may be at risk of developing occipital neuralgia.
Can occipital neuralgia go away on its own?
Yes, it can, but only after the inflammation causing the occipital neuralgia is addressed. That’s why Ospina Medical offers multiple treatment options for occipital neuralgia that address its root causes.