Readers ask: Why Do I Have A Shooting Pain From My Head Down To My Foot?

What are the symptoms of neuralgia in the head and neck?

Symptoms of occipital neuralgia include continuous aching, burning and throbbing, with intermittent shocking or shooting pain that generally starts at the base of the head and goes to the scalp on one or both sides of the head. Patients often have pain behind the eye of the affected side of the head.

How long does occipital neuralgia last?

This can provide immediate relief, and it can last up to 12 weeks.

What causes occipital neuralgia to flare up?

What causes occipital neuralgia? Occipital neuralgia may occur spontaneously, or as the result of a pinched nerve root in the neck (from arthritis, for example), or because of prior injury or surgery to the scalp or skull. Sometimes “tight” muscles at the back of the head can entrap the nerves.

What happens if occipital neuralgia goes untreated?

What are the potential complications of occipital neuralgia? Left untreated, complications of untreated occipital neuralgia can be serious or even life threatening. You can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you.

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Should I worry about sharp pains in my head?

Headache symptoms you should worry about. A headache typically causes pain in your head, face, or neck area. Get urgent medical attention if you have severe, unusual pain or other signs and symptoms. Your headache may be a sign of an underlying illness or health condition.

What causes sharp pains in head?

Neurological causes Nerve problems can sometimes be the source of head pain. Occipital neuralgia: The occipital nerves run from the top of your spinal cord, up your neck, to the base of your skull. Irritation of these nerves can cause an intense, severe, stabbing pain in the back of your head or the base of your skull.

How do I calm my occipital nerve?

Finding occipital neuralgia pain relief

  1. Apply ice/heat therapy. Ice therapy may reduce local inflammation and relieve pain.
  2. Take NSAIDs. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) are over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (e.g., Aleve).
  3. Give yourself a neck massage.

How do you calm occipital neuralgia?


  1. Apply heat to your neck.
  2. Rest in a quiet room.
  3. Massage tight and painful neck muscles.
  4. Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, like naproxen or ibuprofen.

Will occipital neuralgia go away?

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.

What is the best medicine for occipital neuralgia?

Drugs used to treat Occipital Neuralgia

Drug name Rating Rx/OTC
View information about gabapentin gabapentin Off-label 7.7 Rx
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Does occipital neuralgia show up on MRI?

Radiographic imaging is of limited utility in the diagnosis of occipital neuralgia but is primarily concerned with excluding structural pathology of the cord, the spine, the occipital nerves or adjacent structures. As such, MRI is best suited to this task 1,4.

Is occipital neuralgia a symptom of MS?

In patients with multiple sclerosis, clinical features in occipital neuralgia that were predictive of the presence of a C2-3 lesion were unilateral episodic symptoms, sensory loss, later onset of occipital neuralgia, and progressive multiple sclerosis phenotype.

How can I treat occipital neuralgia at home?

Massage Often Helps The best treatment for occipital neuralgia is often massage. It is so beneficial because it helps relieve the pain of occipital neuralgia due to tight neck muscles and muscle tension that is putting pressure on the nerves. Occipital neuralgia massage can be delivered through: A physical therapist.

How do you sleep with occipital neuralgia?

Do not place your neck in a crooked position as this can cause your head and neck muscles to stiffened and contract. This position will apply pressure to the occipital nerve. Use a pillow that supports your neck but won’t allow your head to be higher than you neck.

Is occipital neuralgia a disability?

Other types of headaches, such as cluster headaches, trigeminal neuralgia, or occipital neuralgia, may also qualify you for Social Security disability benefits if the headaches prevent you from working.

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