If you are one of those people who suffer from deadly back pain
If the deadly shooting pain in the back has worried you
If you want to get acquainted with the causes of headaches
If you want to know ways to improve and reduce back headaches, read on. In this article, we intend to pay more attention to the fatal shooting headache behind the head, which is known as occipital neuralgia in medical terms and its causes and treatment methods.
What is occipital neuralgia?
Occipital neuralgia is a type of chronic headache in which a person complains of deadly back pain. This type of headache is very rare. Occipital neuralgia is a chronic headache. In people with pain, the pain originates from the nerve in the back of the head or, in medical terms, in the occipital region. This stimulus is propagated through nerves in the back or occipital region.
The nerves in the back of the head start from the upper part of the spinal cord and extend to the human skull. This headache, unlike other headaches, including migraine headaches, even begins with a simple touch, such as combing your hair. The headache is said to have a severe, sharp, short pain-like attack that lasts only a few seconds or at least a few minutes.
If your headache is due to migraine, the duration of pain will be longer than occipital neuralgia pain, so in summary, pain at the back of head can have two main causes: Migraine that lasts more than a few minutes and occipital neuralgia that lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes.
According to annual statistics, out of every 100,000 normal populations, three people suffer from neuralgia
What are the symptoms of neuralgia?
The symptoms are as follows:
- Persistent pain
- Persistent burning pain
- Persistent throbbing pain that begins intermittently at the base of the brain and moves to one or both sides of the skull.
- Affected people will usually experience back pain in the same area as the headache
What causes occipital neuralgia?
There are various conditions that can irritate the nerve fibers in the back of the head and the so-called occipital area. These conditions can cause discomfort and trigger the onset of shooting pain in the back of the head. In the following, we are going to examine and name the most common causes that can irritate the nerves in the back of the head and the onset of occipital headaches.
- Traumas and injuries:
If a person is injured in the neck area, for example, he suffers an injury and muscle strain in the neck area. As a result of this injury, the muscles and nerves of the occiput and the nerves behind the head above the spinal cord are damaged and become inflamed following the injury, and this inflammation can be the beginning of occipital neuralgia.
- Skeletal problems:
If the muscles in your neck, back, and upper back spasm and tighten, the nerves in the back of the head may be strained due to spasm. Getting stuck in their paths or getting stuck in the nerve fibers in the back of the head can trigger the onset of back headaches.
- Back problems and discomforts:
The following are some of the problems and injuries of the spine:
- Types of arthritis of the spine
- Osteoarthritis of the spine
Any of the above injuries and disorders can put pressure on the nerve fibers in the back of the head.
Other causes that may be associated with occult neuralgia include:
- Sweet Diabetes
- General infections
What are the signs and symptoms of a person with occipital neuralgia?
Most people consider headaches to be the main cause of discomfort.
In the following, we will explain and describe the pain and other symptoms in trigeminal neuralgia. The symptoms are as follows:
- the pain:
Most people with this condition describe pain in only one side of their head or one half of their skull.
It usually starts at the junction of the skull to the neck or where the brain actually connects to the spinal cord and rises in the skull and moves to the sides of the skull and behind our eyes.
Many people with this type of headache report that there is pain, especially in the area where the nerves above the spinal cord enter the skull.
- The patient suffers from severe allergies
- It is sensitive to light or has photophobia
- Headaches and attacks of this complication are usually recurrent, (it lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes.)
- Of course, there are people who also complain of persistent pain between two attacks of severe shooting pain in the back of the head.
Affected people state that small and delicate movements can also start the pain behind them. Among the cases and movements that cause pain at the back of head can be mentioned the following:
- Wash your hair
- Combing hair
- Put your head on the pillow
- Turn your head to the side
A person with occipital neuralgia has such severe back pain that the patient sometimes confuses it with cluster headaches or migraines, but here it is important to note that recent pain at the back of head with migraines and cluster headaches is quite different in origin. And as it is fundamentally different in treatment in other words, occipital neuralgia requires different treatments.
The difference between headaches and back of the neck with other types of headaches
We said that a person with occipital neuralgia has a very severe headache that begins with the sharp shooting pain. Most people with this type of headache respond very well to treatments and will happily recover. Doctors are said to believe that this type of headache is fundamentally different from two other common headaches, these differences are explained:
- A) The cause of pain
- B) the place of pain
Other types of headaches can have more common and general causes, for example:
- taking medication
- Various stimuli
- Infectious sinusitis
- Increased blood pressure
But headaches that are in occipital area and are called occipital neuralgia occur when nerve fibers in the posterior region are stimulated. Even damage to these nerve fibers that enter the skull from above the spinal cord can trigger this type of severe posterior headache.
The nerve fibers located in the posterior region originate from the second and third vertebrae of the neck. This occipital pain is felt in the areas related to the nerves in the back of the head. There is damage, irritation and tenderness anywhere on this path. In a word, damage and inflammation of the nerves and nerve fibers that go from the spinal cord to the skull will cause pain in the back of the head.
When you see a doctor with a deadly, severe pain in the back of the head, the doctor will take steps to diagnose it. In other words, for the correct treatment of any type of headache, it is very important to diagnose the main cause and the main type of headache.
Your doctor will first review your medical record, history, and signs and symptoms, He or she may then ask you questions about the headache, the duration of the onset, the duration, the symptoms that accompany the headache, and the conditions that make the headache worse. Then, according to the conditions, he performs clinical examinations. As we have said, people with neuralgia have pain in the back of head and very severe sensitivity in the path of the nerves behind them.
So during the examinations, the doctor may press on this area during the physical examination to see if there is a sensitivity to touch in these areas or not?
Can stress exacerbate and initiate pain? Of course, we must say that this type of headache is not easy to diagnose because this problem will be similar to other types of headaches in many ways and signs and symptoms.
It is said that one of the diagnostic methods of this type of headache, which in addition to diagnosis can also improve and relieve pain, in other words, is a diagnostic and therapeutic method, is an injection. In this method, the doctor relieves the symptoms by injecting between the second and third vertebrae of the neck. So if this injection relieves the headache between C2 and C3, then the headache is probably neuralgia.
Be sure to ask people who suffer from deadly and severe pain in the back of head, how to reduce their headaches. Here is what you need to know about the treatment of this type of pain. This type of headache can be treated at home, medically or surgically. This type of headache, like other headaches, can respond to non-pharmacological methods. In the following, we will list the types of these methods and modifications:
- Nutritional terms:
If you are a person who repeatedly experiences deadly and severe back pain, it is best to focus on your diet for the first treatment.
Doctors say that diet modification, especially taking B vitamins, can increase the body’s ability to heal and repair. It is said that getting enough vitamin D can relieve occipital headaches. Vitamin B12 is also one of the vitamins that repair nerve damage and repair the nervous system.This is why many doctors get help from B12.
Other changes you can make to your diet include the consumption of beneficial fatty acids such as fish oil or flaxseed oil. Fish oil and flaxseed oil have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce inflammation and help repair damaged tissue.
Other nutritional recommendations include:
- Reduce sugar consumption
- Increase magnesium in the diet or take magnesium supplements as directed by your doctor
- Do not eat processed foods and canned food
- Drink plenty of water
- You should drink at least eight glasses of water a day
If you work in an environment where the air is warmer or more humid, and if you sweat a lot where you do a lot of exercise and physical activity, it is necessary to get more water.
- Use relaxation techniques:
You can try them at home. As we know, stress can lower the pain perception threshold. In other words, stress and anxiety make you feel the pain sooner and more intensely. So if you have occipital neuralgia, be aware that mild cases of your pain can be treated by reducing anxiety. We recommend that you rest in a quiet room. Use a warm compress on painful and contracted muscles when resting. You can put a warm compress on the back of the head and on the contracted muscles
We know that these methods can not eliminate the basis of headaches, but it is possible and obvious that they will help soothe the pain and you can better return to your daily activities.
You can try massage therapy. It has been proven that massage can reduce stress, anxiety and tension and soothe pain. For massage therapy, do the following:
You can gently massage your jaw and neck yourself. Ask your partner, spouse and friend to massage your jaw, neck and back of your head. For a massage, you can see a doctor.
- Check for sleep and treat any sleep disorders:
It has been proven that people who sleep less or do not have a good quality sleep have a low pain perception threshold, in other words, poor sleep or poor quality sleep will be equivalent to more and more severe tolerance and perception of pain.
We know that both the quantity and quality of sleep during the day are very important in experiencing pain during the day.
Pain can also interfere with nighttime sleep. The sleep disorder cycle in people with headaches should be broken by a doctor.
It is said that sometimes headaches are caused by pressure on the nerve fibers behind the head, so by correcting the position of the body during sleep, we can reduce the stimulation. Note the following:
- Try not to tilt the neck. Tilting the head is associated with spasms, contractions, stiffness, and cramps in the muscles of the back of the head and neck. Contracted muscles can put pressure on the nerves in the back of the head.
- Be sure to use a suitable and standard pillow. A suitable pillow is a pillow that supports both your neck and your head and does not place your head above your neck.
Exercises and yoga exercises have been very effective and useful for relieving pain caused by pressure and stimulation of the nerves in the back. Long time yoga exercises increase the healing properties of tissues. It is said that there are three major yoga movements for the treatment of deadly and severe shooting headaches.
- Neck rotation
- Stretching and bending the neck
- Stretching the muscles under the back of the head
Next item Exercises that can strengthen the muscles of the back of the head. Chin contraction is one of the simplest cases used to strengthen the muscles of the back of the head. Muscle spasms in the back of the head can cause neck pain. You can repeat the contraction of the chin during the day. To do this move, it is better to do the following method:
Sit up straight and keep your back and spine straight. Place your fingertips on your chin and at the same time try to close your mouth. Exhale as you keep your neck and back straight and gently push your chin back. Let your head move backwards following this pressure and you can feel the back muscles in the middle of the skull being stretched. If the muscles in the back of your neck are very dry, you should try not to stretch more than the pain threshold to the muscles of the head and back.
- Use of acupuncture:
Doctors say that if you are looking for minimally invasive treatment, you should go to acupuncture. Of course, the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of headaches has not been proven yet, but its test will be uncomplicated and safe.
In acupuncture, very small needles are inserted into specific areas of your body, thus relieving pain by stimulating certain areas.
See a specialist for acupuncture. The specialist will insert the needles at specific points on the sore spot or even farther away that are associated with the sore spot. It then releases endorphins or the body’s natural soothing hormone. By increasing these substances, the pain is relieved due to the immersion of the needles. Acupuncture is not the main treatment, but doctors consider acupuncture to be an effective complementary treatment that should be done alongside other reliable medical treatments.
- Use of rehabilitation medicine:
This method focuses on massaging and aligning the muscles of the body and the muscles of the spine. This method is one of the best therapeutic measures that is done to treat pain in the back of the head. These methods will be safe and without side effects, so you can definitely use them along with other safe treatments.
It is said that pain in the back of the head usually does not respond to medication. If a patient develops migraine headaches that the doctor considers to be related to the nerves in the back, he or she can use the medication prescribed by the doctor along with other supportive methods.
Doctors usually use the following classes of drugs to treat headaches caused by nerve damage behind the head:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Anti-depressant rugs
- Anticonvulsant drugs
- Drugs that relax muscles as a result of taking them
It is said that it is better to take medication along with other cases and treatment measures. If the medication and treatment measures mentioned above could not relieve the pain, complementary therapies as well as interventional therapies should be performed.
- Nerve block:
As we said, nerve block, which is done by injecting anesthetic between the second and third vertebrae of the neck, has a diagnostic and therapeutic nature. It is also said that it can prevent the occurrence of back headaches.
- Pulse Radiofrequency:
In this method, the posterior nerves are stimulated with radio frequency waves. Thus, when these nerves are stimulated, they do not send pain signals. It is said that this method is safe and will not cause any damage to the adjacent nerves and tissues.
Surgery is performed on the micro vascular decompression method. The people who are selected for this type of surgery will be people who have very painful and severe headaches behind their backs and have not responded to the above treatments. In this procedure, the surgeon tries to relieve the pressure on the nerves in the area behind the head. Usually, the surgeon will reduce the pressure on the nerves by removing the arteries.
Doctors use the following medications to prevent pain in the back of head:
Tricyclic antidepressants can reduce the onset of pain in the back of head in some patients. Some antiepileptic drugs may also be used to prevent pain in the back of head.