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Occipital Neuralgia Headache Can Be More Than Just Headache

Posted in Headaches, Occipital Neuralgia on Oct 02, 2019

Occipital Neuralgia Headache is a severe pain syndrome that causes debilitating pain at the back of the head, often radiating up the back of the head, most commonly on one side but can affect both.

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When it first strikes people can often mistake it for headache, and there is one thing for sure, it makes your headache. With this said, occipital neuralgia headache is caused by irritation or pressure to one of the sub occipital nerves which produces the deep searing pain associated with occipital Neuralgia.

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In our Los Angeles based upper cervical chiropractic offices we have seen many cases of Occipital Neuralgia Headache improve or resolve. We believe that many cases of occipital Neuralgia result from upper cervical spine trauma which causes the muscles at the base of the head to tighten. If tight enough, they can entrap the occipital nerves and reproduce the pain experienced by occipital neuralgia sufferers.

Can a neck adjustment help occipital neuralgia?

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Upper cervical spine corrections can help people with occipital Neuralgia. No one procedure has the answer for all cases, with that said , precision upper cervical corrections can often times remove the underlying cause of occipital neuralgia headache and allow these patients to recover their lost health and sanity. In our Los Angeles based offices we have seen many cases recover and go on with their lives once again.



Why occipital neuralgia occurs?

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Occipital Neuralgia Headache is a nerve disorder. There can be several different mechanisms that trigger its occurrence. The most common cause is hyper tonic muscles at the base of the skull. We find that this condition often follows traumatic injury.

However, sometimes it occurs long after upper cervical spine injury and isn’t immediately present following the trauma. It is our suspicion that upper cervical spine injury is the precipitating factor in many cases of Occipital Neuralgia Headache.

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Trauma to the upper cervical spine joints can damage the ligaments and soft tissue causing spinal misalignment and increased muscle tension. Muscles become tight in the spine when motion is lost in the joints. Increased muscle tension can set the stage for entrapment of the suboccipital nerve and be the underlying factor in many cases.



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What is occipital neuralgia syndrome?

Unlike headaches or migraines, occipital neuralgia headache can be triggered quickly, even with a simple touch like brushing your hair. The most severe part of the attack is brief, with intense, sharp pain lasting only a few seconds to a few minutes.

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Migraine pain, which is also severe, lasts much longer than pain from occipital neuralgia. After the sharp shooting pain occurs many are left with a dull pressure ache at the base of the skull that ebbs and flows.

It’s estimated that occipital neuralgia affects about three out of every 100,000 people every year.



Occipital Neuralgia Symptoms

The most common symptom of occipital neuralgia headache is sudden, severe pain that many falsely associate with migraines. This pain is described as intense, piercing, stabbing, and sharp.

The severe pain episodes may only last for a few minutes or seconds, but tenderness around the nerves and a dull ache may persist afterward. Similar to migraines, the pain may happen more on one side of your head and neck than the other.

Other common symptoms associated with Occipital Neuralgia Headache are eye-watering or eye redness, which is also common with other primary headache disorders. Unlike tension headaches, occipital neuralgia episodes feel more like stabbing pain instead of a dull throbbing.



What is the best chiropractic technique for occipital neuralgia?

The best chiropractic technique for occipital Neuralgia is a technique that focuses all of their attention on the upper cervical spine. These techniques are called upper cervical chiropractic techniques.

Our office is, of course, partial to the Blair Upper Cervical Technique as it’s what we practice. However, if you are in an area that no Blair upper cervical doctor exists there are many well-trained doctors in other upper cervical techniques that can help.



Can chiropractic offer occipital neuralgia treatment?

The Blair upper cervical technique specializes in locating misaligned joints in the neck from prior trauma and correcting them. Spinal trauma disproportionately affects the upper neck as a result of its engineering.

The head weighs 10-12 pounds and rests on a bone called the atlas that weighs 2 ounces. This region, called the craniocervical junction(CCJ), is most susceptible to injury. When an injury occurs it can result in increased muscle tightness and brainstem irritation which both can result in occipital Neuralgia.

The Blair technique uses a specialized Xray series that identifies which joints are misaligned and supplies information that is critical to their correction. In the large majority of occipital Neuralgia cases, they either recover or improve.



Chiropractic occipital neuralgia specialist near me.

If you are looking for a chiropractic occipital Neuralgia specialist near you one of the best things you can do is a quick google search. If you come up empty handed you can always call one of our Los Angeles offices and we would be happy to help.

If you are located in the Los Angeles area we have two offices that offer a free consultation.