What is Occipital Neuralgia? How can massage help?

Occipital Neuralgia is when your occipital nerves (back of the head where your skull meets the neck) are inflamed.  This can be due to injury, muscle tightness or other inflammation present in you body.  Massage can be an effective way to relieve symptoms of occipital neuralgia, especially if from tight muscles. If your neck muscles are tight, then may cause entrapment of you nerve. During a massage session, your massage therapist will focus on these trigger points to help release any entrapment.

Occipital neuralgia causes may include:

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  • Injury after car accident
  • Whiplash
  • Overly tight neck muscles
  • Compressed nerves in the neck, due to osteoarthritis or other conditions
  • Tumors
  • Gout
  • Diabetes
  • Vasculitis, or blood vessel inflammation
  • Overuse injuries caused by keeping the head in a down or forward position

Occipital neuralgia symptoms include:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Pain behind the eye, on one side of the head
  • Blurry vision
  • Dental pain
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Migraine symptoms
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Scalp tenderness
  • Pain and tight muscles when moving the neck

For more information, please check out the links below. If symptoms are severe, please contact your doctor.

Web MD - Occipital Neuralgia

American Migraine Foundation - Occipital Neuralgia