• Occipital neuralgia is a particular type of headache caused by irritation or damage to an occipital nerve, which run up the neck over the scalp toward the forehead. There is a wide range of available treatments, depending on individual needs.


    Basic treatment for occipital neuralgia often includes non-medicinal treatments such as massage and resting, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).


    Medicinal therapy for occipital neuralgia can include nerve blocks, which are medications that interfere with nerve signals, and injected steroids to reduce inflammation in the area.


    Antidepressant medications can be used to treat pain in severe cases of occipital neuralgia, according to the NINDS.


    Surgery can be performed to cut, burn or poison the nerve so that it stops sending painful signals to the brain. Other options include surgically relieving pressure from the nerve or implanting a nerve stimulator, according to Johns Hopkins.


    Surgery can lead to complications like permanent numbness. Johns Hopkins recommends using non-surgical treatments first.


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

    Johns Hopkins: Occipital Neuralgia

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