What is Occipital Neuralgia?


Occipital neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the occipital nerves, which run from the top of the spinal cord up through the scalp. This condition is characterised by piercing, throbbing, or electric-shock-like chronic pain in the upper neck, back of the head, and behind the ears, typically on one side of the head.


• Intense, sharp, or stabbing pain that starts at the base of the skull and radiates to the scalp.
• Pain that often presents as a continuous aching, burning, and throbbing.
• Sensitivity to light (photophobia).
• Tenderness of the scalp.
• Pain behind the eyes.

Pain Management Treatments

1) Medications

• Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): These can help reduce pain and inflammation.
• Anticonvulsants: These can help control nerve pain.
• Antidepressants: Tricyclic antidepressants and other antidepressants can help manage chronic pain.
• Muscle Relaxants: These can help reduce muscle spasms that may irritate the occipital nerves.

2) Minimally Invasive Pain Management Procedures

For patients who do not find relief from medications, Dr. Mubarak specialises in various minimally invasive procedures to manage occipital neuralgia effectively:

• Nerve Blocks: An injection of local anaesthetics and steroids around the occipital nerves can block pain signals and reduce inflammation. This procedure can provide immediate relief, which may last for several weeks or months.

• Botulinum Toxin (Botox) Injections: Botox injections can help reduce muscle tension around the occipital nerves and alleviate pain by blocking nerve signals.

Occipital neuralgia is a debilitating condition that can significantly affect quality of life. Effective management requires a comprehensive approach combining medications and minimally invasive procedures tailored to the individual needs of the patient. Dr Mubarak specialises in treating facial pain and occipital neuralgia.