How To Treat Occipital Neuralgia

Occipital neuralgia is literally a pain in the neck. Starting at the top of the spinal cord and traveling up the back of the head, the occipital nerves can be a source of serious head and neck pain from injury or inflammation. Right now, the underlying cause of occipital neuralgia has not completely been determined. Unfortunately, occipital neuralgia can flare up doing almost anything, and simply brushing hair, lying down on a pillow, or even touching the neck can bring on intense pain. Individuals may feel a stabbing, zapping electrical jolt in their neck or head lasting anywhere from a second or two to several minutes. How can occipital neuralgia be treated? Find out now.

Apply Hot Compress To Neck


Applying a hot compress to the neck is a fast and easy way to get some relief during an occipital neuralgia flare-up. A warm, lightly damp washcloth is the classic hot compress choice. Using a microwave or a bathroom sink, heat a washcloth with water. Placing the heated washcloth in a plastic bag will not just prevent drips, but will help keep the heat in longer. Other types of hot compresses are also effective. Some reusable compresses include microwaveable pads or cloth tubes filled with uncooked rice or beans. A heating pad or warm water bottle can also help provide soothing comfort.

Applying a hot compress safely requires individuals to place it on or across their neck or forehead, taking it off every twenty minutes or so. Individuals should also lie down in a quiet, dark room where the compress can remain in place without shifting too much. If the compress is very hot, individuals should put a fabric barrier like a t-shirt or light towel between the compress and their skin to prevent burns or redness. The warmth will increase blood flow to the site and help to relax the tightened muscles in the neck and head. The relaxation will help ease pain.

Reveal the next treatment for occipital neuralgia now.

HealthPrep Staff