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Occipital Neuralgia

Neuralgia is an unpleasant, but quite common thing. In fact, nowadays one or another form of this disease is present in every second. Today our occipital natural medicine doctor will talk about occipital neuralgia.

Occipital neuralgia is a painful condition that occurs when the occipital nerves that run from the top of your spine to your scalp are compressed or irritated.

What can become a symptom?

Throbbing, aching pain or sharp, electric-like pain that typically starts where the back of your head meets your neck, pain that radiates to one side of your head, down your neck and/or back, pain behind your eye, increased sensitivity of your scalp – all these are the symptoms. Frequent migraines and headaches will also be an alarm bell.

But the causes of the first symptoms are not so unambiguous. It is logical that the reason is irritation of the nerves, but from what? For example, this may occur due to irritation / compression from tense neck muscles. This muscle tension can be associated with physical or emotional stress. Or another option – as a result of pinching of the nerve root on the neck due to injury or surgery. 

How to alleviate this condition?

The most common natural remedy is ice/heat therapy. That’s what it is:

Ice therapy can reduce local inflammation and relieve pain. Put an ice pack under the base of the skull when you go to bed.

Heat therapy. For example, you can use an electric heating pad. When you apply heat to the affected area, local blood vessels dilate and blood flow to the neck increases, which can reduce muscle tension.

It is not necessary to use such therapy for more than 20 minutes at a time. Always use a barrier, such as a hand towel, between your skin and a source of cold/heat.

The second way is to take NSAIDs. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) are over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (e.g., Aleve). They will help reduce inflammation and, as a result, relieve headaches. But do not neglect to consult a doctor before using these drugs.

Another way is neck massage. Apply gentle pressure from your fingertips at the base of your skull. This massage can help calm tight muscles and release tension. You can also place a rolled towel under your head and neck as you lie down on your back. The pressure from the towel can provide a gentle massage. Stop immediately if the massage aggravates your pain.

Take care of your health and do not self-medicate. Don’t forget that holistic practitioner near me!