Occipital neuralgia is commonly and erroneously thought to be migraine by many sufferers. Many people who experience pain at the back of the head think they are having headaches or migraines when in reality it may be occipital neuralgia.
Occipital neuralgia can be debilitating but there are natural alternatives to medication, including Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic, that are very effective. Understanding occipital neuralgia can help patients better manage it so they can minimize the pain and symptoms of the condition and improve overall health.
In this article, we will discuss what occipital neuralgia is, its symptoms, and how a little know procedure called Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic has been helping people recover naturally.
What is occipital neuralgia?
Occipital neuralgia is a musculoskeletal and neurological condition that results in pain radiating up the upper neck to the back of the skull either on the right or left side. There are two main nerves running up the back of the head, the greater and lesser occipital nerve. Overlying these two nerves are many muscle groups. When these muscles become spastic, they can entrap the occipital nerves replicating the pain that occipital neuralgia sufferers experience.
While the greater and lesser occipital nerves do not cover the areas near the ears or over the face, they can extend forward to the forehead. When the occipital nerves are injured or become inflamed, occipital neuralgia is the result. A person suffers from occipital neuralgia may experience pain at the base of their skull or the back of their head.
What are the Symptoms of Occipital Neuralgia?
Sharp shooting pain and dull aching pain or the most common symptom of occipital neuralgia. It often mimics the pain of migraine headaches or cluster headaches and is described as, burning, aching, and aching.
Most who suffer from occipital neuralgia may also experience intermittent shooting or shocking pain. Typically, the pain begins at the base of the skull but may radiate along the side of the scalp or in the back of the head. Commonly associated symptoms with occipital neuralgia may be:
- Unilateral pain but sometimes maybe bi-lateral
- Pain behind the eye on the affected side
- Scalp tenderness
- Sensitivity to light
- Pain triggered by neck movement
What Causes Occipital Neuralgia? | Upper Cervical Spine Misalignment-The missing Link
In our Los Angeles Upper Cervical Health Care office, we have seen over 75 cases of occipital neuralgia over the years. We have found that these cases either improve or completely remit following a program of care the addresses the underlying cause of the syndrome, upper cervical spine misalignment.
Occipital neuralgia is almost exclusively caused by abnormal muscle tone at the base of the skull. When the upper cervical spine muscles become spastic, most patients experience a “heavy head”, pressure at the base of the skull, and the onslaught of pain at the back of the head associated with occipital neuralgia.
By correcting the abnormal position of the atlas or axis vertebrae, which was caused by an earlier neck trauma, normal motion of the joints can be restored, and the result is normal muscle tone throughout the cervical spine. WE have found that the large majority of patients that undergo Blair upper Cervical Care find relief or resolution from the procedure.
What Exactly Does A Blair Upper Cervical Doctor Do?
Blair Upper Cervical doctors are specially trained to find spinal misalignments in the upper cervical spine. This is determined by running the prospective patient through a battery of neurological tests that locate the spinal segments that have been injured and misaligned by a prior neck injury.
Once located, precision imaging in the form of digital x-ray or cone beam computed tomography (Cbct) is used to precisely determine which joint has misaligned and the angulation of the offending joint.
Each person’s anatomy is different and therefore imaging is used to uncover the blueprint to be used to correct each patient’s individual misalignment pattern. Once this information is gleaned, a gentle, light correction is made without twisting, popping, or pulling.
The patient is then monitored overtime to ensure that the correction is holding. If the testing indicates the need for another correction, then it is performed. However, the goal of Blair Upper Cervical Care is for the patient to stay in “adjustment”. It isn’t the correction that produces healing. It is the removal of nerve irritation and the adjustment “holding” in its normal position that allows the body to function better and proceed through a healing process.
If you or a loved one is looking for natural scoliosis treatment or help with any other chronic health condition our offices offer a FREE consultation. Our office has been in practice in the Los Angeles area for the past 18 years. We have 3 skilled, well-trained doctors in both of our locations and are here to help serve you with your health care needs.
If you are outside of the LOS ANGELES area and looking for a Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractor near you, you can call our office and we would be happy to help find you a qualified doctor in your area.