Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Occipital Neuralgia Overview

What is occipital neuralgia?
A person with occipital neuralgia has pain in the back of the head, caused by irritation to the occipital nerve. The occipital nerve provides sensation to the scalp. Underlying causes for occipital neuralgia include arthritis, gout, and injury.

What are the symptoms of occipital neuralgia?
Symptoms of occipital neuralgia include scalp pain that occurs most commonly behind the ears, in the back of the head, or in the back of the neck near the skull. Usually, pain is triggered by touching the scalp or the back of the neck.

How does the doctor treat occipital neuralgia?
Treatment for occipital neuralgia includes cold compresses, warm compresses, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Additional treatment for severe occipital neuralgia may include surgery to reduce pressure on the occipital nerve.

Continue to Occipital Neuralgia Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Occipital Neuralgia References
  1. Ashkenazi A, Levin M. Three common neuralgias. How to manage trigeminal, occipital, and postherpetic pain. Postgrad Med. 2004 Sep;116(3):16-8, 21-4, 31-2 passim. [15460087]
  2. Martelletti P, van Suijlekom H. Cervicogenic headache: practical approaches to therapy. CNS Drugs. 2004;18(12):793-805. [15377169]
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