Occipital headaches


An occipital headache is usually defined as a sudden jabbing pain in the distribution of the greater or lesser occipital nerves. There is often accompanied by diminished sensation or tingling in the affected area.
Differentiating between occipital headache and other forms of headache may be difficult secondary to variability in presentation and considerable symptom overlap. Pain is usually localized in the distribution of the greater or lesser occipital nerves. The affected nerve is tender to palpation. Diagnostic injections have a role in not only differentiating different types of headaches, but also identifying the pain generator.


There are two types of headaches: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Primary headaches are not associated with (caused by) other diseases. Examples of primary headaches are migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by associated disease. The associated disease may be minor or serious and life threatening.


The list of treatments mentioned in various sources for Occipital Neuralgia includes the following list. Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment or change in treatment plans.
  • Symptomatic
  • Massage
  • Rest
  • Antidepressants
  • Local nerve blocks
  • Steroid injections
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