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Occipital Neuralgia   

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What is Occipital Neuralgia?
Is there any treatment?
What is the prognosis?
What research is being done?
Organizations

What is Occipital Neuralgia?

Occipital neuralgia is a chronic pain disorder caused by irritation or injury to the occipital nerve located in the back of the scalp. Individuals with the disorder experience pain originating at the nape of the neck. The pain, often described as throbbing and migraine-like, spreads up and around the forehead and scalp. Occipital neuralgia can result from physical stress, trauma, or repeated contraction of the muscles of the neck.

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Is there any treatment?

Treatment is generally symptomatic and includes massage and rest. In some cases, antidepressants may be used when the pain is particularly severe. Other treatments may include local nerve blocks and injections of steroids directly into the affected area.

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What is the prognosis?

For most individuals with occipital neuralgia, the pain is eliminated or reduced with treatment and does not interfere with daily activities.

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What research is being done?

Within the NINDS research programs, occipital neuralgia is addressed primarily through studies on pain. NINDS vigorously pursues a research program that seeks to find new treatments for pain and nerve damage and to understand the underlying biological processes associated with pain.

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 Organizations

American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA)

National Chronic Pain Outreach Association (NCPOA)

National Headache Foundation

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Occipital Neuralgia