Symptoms of occipital neuralgia are very similar to those associated with migraines; these similarities in symptoms often means that occipital neuralgia goes undiagnosed and untreated.
Symptoms of occipital neuralgia range from mild to severe, and can include:
Sharp, intense pain, often described as “jabbing” or “shock-like”, in the back of the head and at the base of the skull
Throbbing, aching, or burning discomfort starting at the base of the skull and radiating upward and toward the scalp
Sharp, shooting pain on one or both sides of the head
Pain behind one or both eyes
Sensitivity to light
Pain in neck when turning or rotating the head
It is often difficult to determine if the pain and discomfort is a result of occipital neuralgia or from another type of headache; your doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination, assess your medical history, and most likely order a series of diagnostic and imaging tests in an attempt to determine the cause of your headaches and discomfort.
As part of assessing your condition, your doctor may also inject a nerve-blocking agent to better determine if occipital neuralgia is causing the pain and discomfort.
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