Causes of occipital nerve pain

18 September 2015
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18 September 2015, Comments: 0

Headaches have been a common issue experienced by many individuals all over the world. Based on statistics, millions are suffering from chronic headaches. It is important to note that the occipital nerve that runs beneath the skin in the back of the head might cause headaches that manifest in the back part of the head along with tingling, pain and numbness that can cause discomfort to the individual.

An individual who experiences these symptoms must schedule an appointment with a doctor so that the headache is properly assessed to determine if the occipital nerve is responsible for causing the pain.

Trauma

Occipital nerve pain

It is important to note that the occipital nerve that runs beneath the skin in the back of the head might cause headaches that manifest in the back part of the head

Occipital nerve pain might be triggered by trauma. The trauma might be the result of sustaining a direct blow to the back part of the head or from neck trauma that damages the nerve where it exits the neck. In such cases, it is vital to seek emergency medical care to ensure that there are no other structures in the head are damaged from trauma. In case the occipital nerve is the cause for the pain while other structures are normal, an anesthetic block can help provide relief.

Pinched nerves

The occipital nerve leaves at the side of the neck and goes through under the muscle tissue within the neck and travels up to the back area of the head. In some cases, a pinched nerve occurs as the nerve exits the neck or as it goes through under the muscle tissue that might become too tight.

This type of occipital nerve pain is usually linked to tension headaches. Home exercises or occupational therapy can help relieve this pain. In case therapy could not help manage the occipital nerve pain, the individual should set an appointment with a doctor for further medical care.

Infection

In some cases, infection can lead to occipital nerve pain. An infection that develops along the rear of the head or back of the neck can lead to localized inflammation that can worsen the neighboring nerves, including the occipital nerve.

Inflammation can develop due to an open wound in the back of the neck or can spread from an open wound in other parts of the head. In such cases, the infection should be initially managed using antibiotics before specific treatments can be focused to the occipital nerve. When the infection is properly controlled, an anesthetic nerve block can help provide relief.

Depending on the exact causes of the occipital nerve pain, it is vital to schedule an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible so that proper assessment can be carried out. In doing so, the appropriate treatment can be started to effectively manage the symptoms.

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