Occipital Neuralgia is a neurological condition that affects the occipital nerves. These are the nerves that span from the top of your spinal cord to your scalp. These nerves are damaged for people with occipital neuralgia, which causes sharp, jabbing pain in the back of your head and neck. Some people can confuse occipital neuralgia with a migraine because the pain and symptoms are similar. But occipital neuralgia is a separate condition that should be treated differently than a migraine or other types of headaches.
Some of the symptoms of occipital neuralgia include:
- Pain on the sides of your head and between the eyes
- Throbbing pain starting from the base of your head and moves up to your scalp
- Light sensitivity
- Pain when moving your neck
Occipital Neuralgia Treatment
There are several different options for treating occipital neuralgia, depending on what’s causing the nerves to be inflamed or irritated. We start by trying to relieve your pain. To relieve the pain, you can apply heat on your neck, massage the neck muscles, or take anti-inflammatory medication.
For more serious cases of occipital neuralgia, we can prescribe medication to relieve your symptoms, or perform injections to the inflamed nerves. If all other measures are ineffective, there are also surgeries that can help treat occipital neuralgia as well.
Trigeminal neuralgia is a neurological condition that affects the nerves that carry sensation from the face to the brain. These nerves are called trigeminal nerves. People with trigeminal neuralgia experience sporadic shocking sensations throughout their face when stimulated.
The sharp painful attacks can last for a few seconds or progress to last longer and become more intense. Some of the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia include:
- Sudden spurts of pain when chewing, talking, or touching your face
- Shooting pain in your face that feel like electric shocks
- Pain in your jaw, gums, lips, cheeks, and other areas connected to the trigeminal nerve
- Pin in the side of your face
Trigeminal Neuralgia Treatment
Trigeminal Neuralgia can be painful, but with treatment, you do not have to be forced to live in pain for the rest of your life. Through medication, surgery, or injections, we can manage your pain and allow you to live a normal life.
Medication such as anticonvulsants and antispasmodic agents, or injections are the most common treatment options. However, for more serious cases of trigeminal neuralgia, surgery might be necessary.
If you are suffering from trigeminal or occipital neuralgia in Bethesda, MD, call the Latimer Neurology Center at (202) 625-4898 to schedule an appointment.