All About Health And Wellness Gazette

Is Chiropractic Treatment Effective for Occipital Neuralgia?

Jul 11

Occipital neuralgia can be highly debilitating; nevertheless, it is critical to understand the effective treatments available, including Chiropractic Care. Additionally, understanding occipital neuralgia can help you better manage the illness and work towards relieving the pain and discomfort that you may be feeling.


What is occipital neuralgia? Occipital neuralgia is a condition that is characterized by pain and tenderness in the back of the head and neck. The pain is often described as throbbing or aching, and it can be accompanied by numbness or tingling. The condition is caused by compression or irritation of the occipital nerves located at the skull's base.


Prolonged forward head carriage caused by poor posture can contribute to the development of tight neck muscles as well as spinal dysfunctions. Furthermore, 'spinal dysfunctions' may occur as a result of a developmental structural defect, as a result of an injury - such as whiplash, or as a compensatory biomechanical alteration in reaction to physical, pharmacological, and/or emotional pressures. Diabetes, gout, infection, osteoarthritis, and, less typically, cervical disc degeneration and neck tumors have all been linked to occipital neuralgia.


What symptoms does Occipital Neuralgia have?


The appearance of occipital neuralgia is exceptionally unique. Irritation of the sensitive nerve fibers of the greater occipital nerves frequently manifests as pain on one side of the head, usually between the top of the neck and the base of the skull, and extends upwards to the back of the scalp behind the ears. In addition, pain may sometimes be felt behind the eye on the affected side.


This type of pain is usually associated with occipital neuralgia. It is described as an acute, sharp, searing, throbbing, and electric-shock-like pain that shoots up the back of the scalp before settling into a painful aching sensation and, in some cases, numbness in the affected area. Although this discomfort comes and goes at random, it is frequently induced by neck movement and can last for several minutes to several hours.


Occipital neuralgia is also connected with scalp tenderness, a condition in which the scalp becomes highly sensitive to even the lightest touch, making brushing, cleaning, or sleeping on a pillow uncomfortable. Furthermore, muscle spasms in your neck can impair your ability to bend or rotate your neck.


Occipital Neuralgia is diagnosed in what way?


Because there is no single test to diagnose occipital neuralgia, the condition is diagnosed by reviewing a patient's history, including signs and symptoms, and performing a physical examination to identify localized inflammation of the greater occipital nerve and determining the cause of the irritation.


In some cases, further testing may be necessary to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms, such as migraines, cluster headaches, or tension headaches. These tests may include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scans of the head and neck, blood tests, or electromyography (EMG).


What happens if nothing is done to treat Occipital Neuralgia? Is it gone on its own?


As with many other musculoskeletal diseases, it is always feasible to 'push through the sensations until they momentarily disappear. However, if the problem is not addressed at its source, it can have a negative impact on the function of your skeletal system, neurological system, muscular system, and soft tissues. As a result, you may lose your capacity to move, feel, and perform at your best.


What is the role of Chiropractic Care in the treatment of Occipital Neuralgia?


The medical approach to treating occipital neuralgia may begin with anti-inflammatory medicine, muscle relaxants, or, in some circumstances, anticonvulsant drugs. Cortisone-injection nerve blocks and/or nerve ablations may be used to effectively 'kill' the afflicted nerves in more difficult situations. However, these approaches mask the symptoms rather than addressing the underlying cause of the irritation and inflammation.


Chiropractic care treats the underlying cause of the issue rather than just treating the symptoms of occipital neuralgia. This reduces inflammation and irritation of the greater occipital nerve. Specific spinal adjustments, traction, active strengthening exercises, heat therapy, and soft tissue therapy are used to achieve this.


Fundamentally, these methods successfully restore normal alignment, enabling the neurological and musculoskeletal systems to work at their best. The benefit of chiropractic care over alternative treatments is that it has no side effects of medications or the risks of surgery.


At Peak Potential Family Chiropractic - Houston Heights, we focus on providing our patients with comprehensive and individualized treatment plans. If you or a loved one suffers from occipital neuralgia, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Our team of expert chiropractors will work with you to develop a treatment plan that will relieve your symptoms and help you get back to living your life!