How do you rule out occipital neuralgia?

How do you rule out occipital neuralgia?

There is not one test to diagnose occipital neuralgia. Your doctor may make a diagnosis using a physical examination to find tenderness in response to pressure along your occipital nerve. Your doctor may diagnose — and temporarily treat — with an occipital nerve block.

How can you tell the difference between occipital neuralgia and migraine?

But that’s where the similarities end. Occipital neuralgia and migraines require different treatments because their sources of pain are different. Migraines are related to changes in the brain. Occipital neuralgia is due to compressed or irritated nerves that run from the neck, up the back of the head to the scalp.

Does occipital neuralgia ever go away?

Prognosis. Occipital neuralgia can last for a very long time, but it may stop by itself after a while. Generally, occipital neuralgia is a long-term condition that requires treatment to lessen the pain.

How can you relieve pain from occipital neuralgia?

Here’s how you can ease painful occipital neuralgia symptoms: Apply ice/heat therapy. Ice therapy may reduce local inflammation and relieve pain. Take NSAIDs. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) are over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (e.g., Aleve). Give yourself a neck massage. Apply gentle pressure from your fingertips at the base of your skull.

What can people confuse occipital neuralgia with?

People can confuse occipital neuralgia with a migraine or other types of headache, because the symptoms can be similar. But treatments for those conditions are very different, so it’s important to see your doctor to get the right diagnosis.

What medical conditions are linked to occipital neuralgia?

Other conditions that can lead or contribute to causes of occipital neuralgia include: osteoarthritis, especially of the upper cervical spine, which can pinch nerves tumors affecting nerve roots blood vessel inflammation gout infection