Occipital neuralgia is a neurological condition that affect the nerves that run from the top of the spinal cord to the base of the neck are wither injured or inflamed. Some people experiencing occipital neuralgia may think it is a migraine or tension headache. Occipital neuralgia can cause very intense feelings, which can be described as a sharp, jabbing, electric shock in the neck or back portion of the head. Other symptoms of occipital neuralgia are tender scalp, pain behind the ear, pain while moving the neck, sensitivity to light, and the scalp feeling tender. Some causes include gout, infection, diabetes, tumors in the neck, blood vessel inflammation, osteoarthritis, neck tightness, neck tension, and trauma to the back of the head or neck. If you think you may have occipital neuralgia, make an appointment with your doctor. Some things the doctor may do if it is determined that you have this include local nerve blocks or steroid injections, medication, nerve stimulation, or micro vascular decompression. Occipital neuralgia is not a life-threatening condition although can definitely affect your way of life if gone untreated. Most people get pain relief by taking it easy and taking medication. Although this does not always help for some. Occipital neuralgia can take a damaging toll on ones day-to-day life. The person with Occipital neuralgia may also begin to feel isolated if they remain inside due to the agonizing pain. Things such as these may later lead to depression. Occipital neuralgia may also be a leading cause of lack of sleep. While the victim of the pain is experiencing the agonizing feeling of discomfort, sleep may be the first thing to go. Some physicians may want to order diagnostic testing to eliminate other diagnosis. Once scheduled, if you have had a recent MRI, CT, X-Ray, bone scan, or ultrasound of the area causing the pain and would like us to review the films, please remember to bring the films or CD to your appointment. It you have not had an MRI, CT, X-Ray, bone scan, or ultrasound done and your physician feels it is necessary, we have equipment available at some of our many locations. Ask for details if a MRI, CT, X-Ray, bone scan, or ultrasound will be necessary. It is wise to get the help necessary to treat the pain as soon as it arises in order to break free from the symptoms they may cause such as those just discussed. If you have Occipital neuralgia and have any questions about how we can help, please feel free to give our friendly scheduling coordinators a call. They are specialized and trained to get you in with one of the board certified pain management physicians that can best be equipped to suit your needs. They can also help with any insurance questions you may have. We are happy to help. It is our goal to help you get to feel like yourself again.