Occipital Neuralgia

What is Occipital Neuralgia?

Occipital Neuralgia occurs when your occipital nerves are injured or inflamed, but is not a life-threatening condition. Your occipital nerves are located at the top of your spinal cord and end at the base of your neck, adjoining through the scalp. This neurological disorder can very easily be mistaken for a migraine or other forms of headaches, primarily because of similar symptoms. Interestingly, the occipital nerves have no motor function whatsoever. So the symptoms do not involve any motor deficits, only sensory.

What causes Occipital Neuralgia?

When your occipital nerves are inflamed or injured; it causes headaches that feel like a stabbing/sharp electric shock pain behind your eye. Occipital Neuralgia may occur spontaneously, 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.

Occipital Neuralgia Treatments

Common treatments for Occipital Neuralgia include botulinum toxin, nerve blocks, or steroid injections to the back of the neck. A solution could also be medications such as muscle relaxants, anti-seizure medications, or some antidepressants. Depending on the patient; Dr. Sturm will find the best solution to treat your pain.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, Arch Advanced Pain Management is accepting new patients for Occipital Neuralgia. If interested please visit and fill out our new patient form here.

Occipital Neuralgia Injection Graphic
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