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occipital pain

By April 22, 2011 - 9:32pm
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hi. this is in behalf of my friend. well these past few days she's been complaining of pulsating occiptal pains and i'm so worried for her. she's been lacking sleep, and her body clock is ruined. lately she has a habit of sleeping in the morning and waking up at night. she can sleep up to 12 hours! and even tho she's slept enough there is still pain at the back of her head. at present she said that the pain is triggered whenever she moves her head. at the same time it feels heavy according to her. i'm scared it might be aneurysm :( but i really pray not. what could be the other reasons for this? actually whenever she plays badminton she also experiences this kind of pain afterwards. what could it be?

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Hi Janelle,

I'm sorry your friend is going through this-- you are a great friend for looking into it.
I took a shot at what kind of pain it is because you mentioned it being occipital pain, I don't know if it's dull or sharp, if it radiates to her neck, etc.

Here is some information on Occipital Neuralgia, let her read it and let me know if this could be it-- if not, I can help you look for what it could be but she should Definitely seek medical attention if these migraines are affecting her daily living.

Occipital neuralgia is a neuropathic pain disorder originating from the occipital nerve, located in the area of the second and third cervical (neck) bones.

It is a chronic headache characterized by a sharp, throbbing pain or feeling of pressure in the back of the neck and base of the skull. Pain can transfer to other areas of the head, such as the forehead or sides of the face. The affected areas may be sore to the touch and the eyes may feel strained or sensitive to light.
What Causes Occipital Neuralgia?

There are several causes, including:
• Inflammation of the nerves
• Trauma, particularly whiplash injuries
• Blood vessel inflammation
• A tumor pressing on the nerves
• Arthritis
• Keeping the head down a lot (for example, by doing lots of reading)
• Compression of the spinal cord

There can be other causes and if you had a neurological problem in childhood you are thought to be at increased risk of having occipital neuralgia.

What are the Treatments for Occipital Neuralgia?

Treatments vary according to the severity of the person’s condition. For mild pain, massage sometimes helps, as does rest and trying to avoid stress. Anti-inflammatory medications can also be used.

For more severe pain, anti-depressant or anti-convulsant drugs may be offered as these alter nerve function and stop the nerve transmitting pain. A nerve block can also be given. This is an injection of local anesthetic and steroid into the affected area. Its effects should be long lasting. If it isn’t, then another option is to have radiation beams fired at the affected nerve to damage it and prevent it from transmitting pain.

For more information on Occipital Neuralgia, visit our page at: http://www.empowher.com/headache/content/occipital-neuralgia

April 23, 2011 - 5:57am
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