In this article, we’ll outline the 3 most important things you can do at home for helping to relieve back pain, neck pain and occipital neuralgia.
Relaxation as a Natural Treatment for Occipital Neuralgia
Relaxation is one of the most effective treatments for those suffering from occipital neuralgia symptoms, but it is not always easy, especially in today’s often hectic world. There are a lot of stresses that happen in everyday life that make finding relaxation difficult. There are some simple exercises you can try to help yourself relax. It may be difficult to find something that works for you, but with time and patience, you will be successful.
Make a quiet space in your room where you can lay in the dark for a few minutes each day without distraction. It might be a little more challenging to do this if you have a family, but consider sitting down with your family and discussing your condition and your need for quiet time. You may want to do everything for your family, but you need to allow time for yourself if you’re going to recover.
If you find it hard to relax on your own, a spa membership would be a wise investment. You will be able to take advantage of many different massage options, body wraps, facials, manicures, pedicures and a whole host of relaxation benefits. Although spa memberships are often a little expensive, your health benefits will make the cost well worth it.
Natural Treatments for Mild to Moderate Symptoms of Occipital Neuralgia
Occipital neuralgia is a non-life-threatening neurological condition that causes severe headaches, light sensitivity and scalp sensitivity in those who suffer from it. Even though the condition is not lethal, it can cause severe pain and make even simple tasks like hair brushing or washing painful. Although this condition responds well to treatment, many people are nervous about taking anti-depressants which are considered one of the most effective treatments for occipital neuralgia. For that reason, natural therapies are a more popular option, with many highly effective options available.
Learning to Meditate to Relieve Symptoms of Occipital Neuralgia
Relaxation is crucial in treating occipital neuralgia, and meditation is one of the best ways to relax. It can be difficult to meditate when you first begin trying, so guided meditation is one of the beginners’ best options.
Guided meditation steps you through visualization exercises that focus your mind. Many people feel this is much easier than attempting to clear the mind of thoughts completely. Many resources are available to those looking into a guided meditation, and it isn’t hard to find a visualization exercise that will interest you.
Treating and Recovering from Occipital Neuralgia
Anyone suffering from occipital neuralgia knows how difficult it can be to diagnose and how difficult it can be to receive proper treatment. The symptoms are so similar to so many other medical conditions; determining the exact problem can be a hard road for even the best doctors. The key is patience. Occipital neuralgia is manageable, and in many cases, a full recovery may be entirely possible.
What is Occipital Neuralgia?
Occipital neuralgia is a neurological disorder that affects the occipital nerves caused by trauma to the back of the head, infection or, in some cases, a tumor. The condition causes chronic pain that originates in the upper neck and travels throughout the back, top and sides of the head and, in some cases, over the forehead and behind the eyes.
In some cases, occipital neuralgia causes the sufferer’s scalp to become sensitive, making even simple tasks like hair brushing painful. Sensitivity to light is also a common symptom of occipital neuralgia. This isn’t necessarily a symptom that only occurs during periods of a headache but may also exist between headaches. In some cases, light acts as a trigger for more severe symptoms.
Treatment Options for Occipital Neuralgia
The good news for those suffering from occipital neuralgia is that treatment of the condition is effective in most cases, and the long-term prognosis is generally very positive. It can be challenging to get on the right path for treatment as occipital neuralgia is difficult to diagnose. The symptoms are very similar to the symptoms associated with many other conditions. Still, once the diagnosis is made and treatment begins, relief usually comes pretty quickly.
Massage for Occipital Neuralgia
There are many options for treatment depending on the severity of the symptoms. In most cases taking time to rest and relax is enough to ease the headaches. Massage therapy is a superb option for mild to moderate symptoms. Here at backpainsleep, we are big advocates of self-massage with tried and tested, inexpensive massagers that can make a massive difference to your occipital pain and quality of life.
The best massager for mild to moderate Occipital Neuralgia pain?
We’ve tried and tested many massagers over the years to manage or prevent pain, albeit back, neck or occipital. In our opinion, the one we’ve been using for occipital neuralgia ourselves is head, neck and shoulders above the rest.
If the condition is more severe, anti-depressants may be prescribed with excellent results. If anti-depressants don’t provide the desired results, a patient may be offered injections into the affected area. In cases where both of these treatments fail, surgery may be an option; this is always considered the last resort unless it is determined the cause of the condition is a benign tumor.
The important thing to remember is that occipital neuralgia is not a life-threatening condition. Although those afflicted with the condition may experience severe pain, it is a manageable condition that can be significantly improved and often eliminated with treatment.
The Symptoms and Diagnosis of Occipital Neuralgia
Occipital neuralgia is a neurological condition that specifically affects the occipital nerves, which causes pain to those who are inflicted with the condition. It is thought to be more common among women than men and typically results from trauma to the head; especially trauma to the back of the head. It can also result from an infection and, in some cases, a benign tumor.
Is Occipital Neuralgia Life Threatening?
Occipital neuralgia is not life-threatening and, in most cases, responds exceptionally well to treatment, with most patients making a complete recovery. Often, treatment consisted of massage therapy, relaxation, or anti-depressants or steroid injections in the trouble site in more severe cases. In more severe cases, surgery is needed, but this is rare and often only necessary when a tumor is present.
What Are the Symptoms of Occipital Neuralgia?
The most common symptom of occipital neuralgia is pain. Because this condition affects the occipital nerves, the pain typically begins in the back of the head and travels out around the top and sides of the head, often ending in the forehead or behind the eyes.
Although not always present in all cases, many sufferers report sensitivity to light during and between headaches. Some patients who suffer from occipital neuralgia also indicate that the eye’s sensitivity to light can cause certain kinds of light and exacerbate already present headaches.
It is not uncommon for those suffering from occipital neuralgia to have especially sensitive scalps. This is also because the condition affects the occipital nerves and causes them to inflame or become irritated. This leads to the skin on the scalp being more sensitive. This is a particularly problematic symptom for many as it can mean even simple tasks like brushing or washing one’s hair can be painful.
How is Occipital Neuralgia Diagnosed?
As mentioned, it can be challenging to diagnose occipital neuralgia because the symptoms so closely resemble symptoms of other conditions. If a physician feels you may be suffering from occipital neuralgia, you will likely be given a series of diagnostic tests and a physical exam. If these tests show any anomalies, the physician will order a CAT scan or an MRI.
The CAT scan creates an image that will be used as a diagnostic tool. These scans generally show the size and shape of the spinal canal and what is inside the canal, and what surrounds it. An MRI is a test used for diagnostic purposes that produces a three-dimensional image of the part of the body being scanned. These tests are, without question, the best way to diagnose occipital neuralgia.