• Occipital neuralgia is a type of headache which is rooted in one of the occipital nerves which supplies the scalp, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). This condition has a variety of causes.


    An injury or trauma to the head or directly to an occipital nerve may cause occipital neuralgia, according to the NINDS and Johns Hopkins.

    Pinched Nerve

    When the occipital nerve is pinched by the effects of osteoarthritis or because of tumors or other lesions, occipital neuralgia may occur, according to the NINDS.

    Tight Muscles

    Tight neck muscles may at times contribute to the development of occipital neuralgia, according to Johns Hopkins and the NINDS.

    Other Causes

    Other factors which may contribute to occipital neuralgia include swelling (including swelling of blood vessels), infection, gout (a type of arthritis), diabetes, as well as tendency to keep the head down and forward, according to the NINDS.


    It is frequently the case that no cause can be found for an individual's occipital neuralgia, according to both Johns Hopkins and the NINDS.


    National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: Occipital Neuralgia Information Page

    Johns Hopkins: Occipital Neuralgia

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