Occipital Neuralgia is pain located in the neck and back regions of the head. In some cases the pain may extend into the sides of the head, and into the facial and frontal regions.

Occipital Neuralgia is actually a superset of two separate disorders with similar symptoms; Lesser Occipital Nerve Neuralgia, and Greater Occipital Neuralgia. The most common triggers for these disorders are injuries that produce a blow or sudden twist of the head, such as whiplash.

Common symptoms include:

  • Pain from base of skull near mastoid process radiating to area of skin over ear and lower temple. (Lesser)
  • Pain from base of skull near midline toward vertex and across top of the hemisphere toward frontal areas. (Greater)
  • Pain is often intermitted and frequently has a sharp quality.
  • Often tenderness of nerves and muscles is found at the nuchal line.

A specific and effective treatment has proven difficult to find. In general, a combination of several classes of drugs are used:

Sources: PainNet, various web-sites

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