Headaches | Occipital Neuralgia – Muscular Tension
Your neck pain and headache may be due to Occipital Neuralgia, which is associated with Muscle Tension Headaches, Myofascial Pain, Cervical Facet Arthropathy and Cervicalgia.
Typical complaints are posterior neck and shoulder muscular spasm with pain. The back of your head (Occiput) may ache constantly with intermittent sharp shooting pain. This headache may range from the occiput up to the forehead in some cases. It may be aggravated with pressure on the base of the skull, flexing or turning the neck.
Some people have a degree of numbness associated because the Occipital Nerve is a branch of the C2 nerve root in the neck and it is possible that you may have significant Cervical Spine Degeneration. This disease is due to Occipital nerve damage and may be difficult to treat.
Treatment may include physical therapy, stretching, massage with muscle relaxation and stress reduction therapy. Medications such as Neurontin, analgesics and muscle relaxants may help. Mineral supplements like Magnesium and some natural creams and remedies can be useful in lessening neck spasms.
Injection therapy includes direct Occipital Nerve Block with local anesthetic and very light steroid. Treatment of Cervical (neck) muscular spasm with Trigger Point Injections or Cervical Facet Blocks could further lessen the pain problem. These are usually well tolerated as we use small thin needles. Confirmation of correct placement of medication occurs when pain is reproduced during injection and relief occurs shortly thereafter.
Botox muscular injection therapy is available to reduce muscular spasm. Most patients require a series of injections to control pain.
You may wish to discuss risk and benefits with your pain doctor. Our pain doctors are highly trained and experienced to assure the greatest safety.