Patient Comments: Occiptal Neuralgia Headache - Treatment


What kind of treatment did you receive for occipital neuralgia, and was it effective? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: MGG, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I am now on year 5 of feeling like I have a ridiculously tight rubber band around my head with stabbing pain right at the base of my head in two places. I have migraines and this kicks them up and I also have dizziness from occipital neuralgia. I have been getting Botox shots in my masseter muscles for many years because clenching was so bad that I cracked teeth. Now I also see a pain management doctor who does nerve blocks once a month. I feel like something is pinched and when I exercise it is always worse after.

Comment from: Busyman55, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 05

I described my primary pain from occipital neuralgia as if a knitting needle had been pushed through the back lower left of my head to the front just above my eye. Combine that with intermittent electric shocks. Finally I am on gabapentin 200 mg 3 times daily and Flexeril 5 mg as needed (not often). Pain reduced from daily 8/9 to 1/2 usually.

Comment from: SLo, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 28

I have been diagnosed with occipital neuralgia for about 12 years. I have tried everything but have not had the spinal stem implant. I do Botox every 12 weeks (helps for about 8) and occipital blocks every 2 weeks, years of physiotherapy, facet injections, epidural, and TENS. I was on long acting morphine for many years and trying to go off them right now. One out of 5 nerve ablations have worked. Not sure what to do next but will not give up. Now, I am taking a pain pill, Maxalt, naproxen, and Reglan and going to bed.

Comment from: BobsWifeAmy , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 12

I had 24/7 pain from occipital neuralgia that no treatments or medicines would stop or even help. I suffered in debilitating pain for almost 10 years. I had peripheral nerve surgery (failed decompression - later had nerve excision) and I have been cured since 2012. It’s now 2019. So grateful!

Comment from: Andra, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 19

My treatments for occipital neuralgia were medial branch block (failed), cervical fusion (improved), Botox in head and neck (lasted 2.5 weeks out of 3 months), medicines (butalbital particularly for intense outbreaks), medical marijuana (failed), heat/cold/physiotherapy (moderate - not lasting). I was referred for occipital nerve decompression denied by insurance despite 3 years of failed treatments. Shame, because the test block worked wonders. I wish I could afford it out-of-pocket. Now on Ajovy, which gives me a little relief for 3 weeks (on a 30 day dose).

Comment from: Ladybug, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 05

I received steroid injections and ice packs for my occipital neuralgia.

Comment from: elizabeth, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 30

I was diagnosed the first time with occipital neuralgia. I have taken 2 gabapentin pills the last few nights, and it is almost gone.

Comment from: Mom of son in pain, 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 24

My son was pushed down and struck his head. Doctors did not know why he had 24/7 severe headaches, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity and partial blindness that would come and go. It took over 6 years and multiple doctor to find out his occipital nerve was crushed where his head hit the ground. After limited and very temporary improvement from multiple nerve blocks, a doctor performed nerve oblation at the painful spot on his head. Two hours after surgery his headaches were completely gone.

Comment from: Kitty, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 12

My husband had very bad occipital neuralgia and was in emergency for 14 hours. After a CT scan, he was diagnosed with this problem, referred to a pain specialist and got 2 cortisone shots in the back of his neck. It has worked for him for one week now, and he sees the specialist again in May. The pain is slowly coming back, hope it gets better for you.

Comment from: Mzdiamondgirl, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 10

I have been suffering with occipital neuralgia now for over a year. The headaches are the worst, along with being dizzy, unbalanced and nauseous. Not one doctor has used the word occipital neuralgia to me. The back of my head burns, throbs, and is sensitive to the touch, I even cut all my hair off due to the pain. I have had several RFAs (radiofrequency ablations), several injection, epidural injections and nothing is working. I feel my life is lived around this pain. Actually I have no life. Someone please stop the pain.


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Comment from: EllenK, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

I was diagnosed in 2010 with occipital neuralgia. Symptoms included an intense sensation that an electric shock was pulsing from my upper neck along the left half of my scalp to the top of my head. The pain persisted 24 hours a day and was debilitating. I lost 25 lb. before finally being put on gabapentin and Cymbalta, which, in combination, control the pain pretty well. A new neurologist suggested that I consult with a specialist who uses gamma knife radiotherapy. I wonder if anyone has done this.

Comment from: David, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 13

I'm 51 and have had occipital neuralgia symptoms for 5 years. I had nerve blocks that worked, however I started getting headaches in different areas and got my neck joints done as well 12 months later. The trouble is my occipital area pain has kicked off again with severe teeth soreness. Dentist says nothing is wrong so I hope to go back and do the process again.

Comment from: JeanB, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 04

Deep tissue massage with chiropractic adjustments helped my occipital neuralgia for many years. A fall that seemed to render me helpless, along with the inability to find a good massage therapist made the pain chronic. I had the major and lesser nerve block, which helped a lot; until I had a long work day of neck bending. I was told I may need the other lesser nerve blocked but will need MRI to do so. I take migraine medicines and muscle relaxant as needed. Works most of the time but not always.

Comment from: Azaelea, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 06

I'm 65, have multiple sclerosis, had whiplash from a car accident and have experienced occipital neuralgia several times in the past 7 years. I have treated it with acupuncture, anti-depressants, muscle relaxants, valerian, essential oils and some massage. Each time it has gone away but this last bout has been nasty as it seems to come and go, sometimes stopping for a week or so and then reoccurring. I manage to sleep using muscle relaxants and valerian. During the day I manage with massage, essential oils (tea tree, rosemary and eucalyptus oil) and sometimes muscle relaxants. The pain is intermittent, so this is become very wearing since I never know when it will occur.

Comment from: Medinagn, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I had a nerve block done 4 times already for occipital neuralgia and it only worked for 2 days. I have kidney disease so I can’t take hard pain medications. I have this pain for over 3 months and now it has gotten worse.

Comment from: Kathryn B, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 04

I have suffered from occipital neuritis for years now due to a crushed nerve in my neck and I can't take anti-inflammatory medicines. I found increasing omega 3 fish oil to 6000 daily usually keeps it at bay but have to deal with the occasional breakouts with alternate heat and ice packs. I get blurred vision and can't lie down because of extreme heat and pain in the top back of my head. Nothing I try relieves the pain, so just have to throw everything I can at it and wait it out.

Comment from: Chris, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 03

Chiropractic adjustment works great for occipital neuralgia and it's non-invasive.

Comment from: aine1, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 24

I am 71 have had occipital neuralgia badly when I was forty and again at 60 lasting a week or so. I just had it again and had advice (keep neck and head warm and I am on a course of anti-inflammatory medication. Hope they help and that it will not return. It is very painful and debilitating.

Comment from: Helen, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 27

I deal with occipital neuralgia almost daily. I get the nerve blocks but they last for maybe a week or two. I wonder if like me others get blurry vision with the pain or sometimes blurry vision when you're not experiencing the pain.


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