Headache is one of the most common human ailments. There are numerous possible causes for headache ranging from mild head injury to serious brain tumor. The pain can be localized to one part of the head or there is diffused headache, meaning all over the head. Occipital headache occurs at the back of head, just above the neck area.
Person experiencing occipital headache may experience mild heaviness or shooting, tingling pain. Occipital headache may be spontaneous in onset or may be slow and progressive in nature.
What Are The Causes Of Occipital Headache?
Muscle tension is often one of the main causes of occipital headaches, or headaches at the back of head.The constant contraction of muscles in the back of neck and back creates pressure on nerves in the occipital region. Sometimes a nerve is compressed by inflamed, swollen muscle tissue.
High blood pressure can also give rise to pain in occipital region. Numbness and pain can accompany headache. Loss of appetite and nausea may be present.
Treatment Options For Occipital Headache
- Occipital headaches can be chronic and quite debilitating.
- It seems that massage and acupuncture procedures are very effective in controlling and decreasing the painful effects of these headaches.
- Warm massage oil helps to decrease inflammation as the massage increases circulation to the sore areas.
- Relieving stress and relaxation is beneficial in controlling this discomfort. Natural relaxants like chamomile tea and aromatherapy with natural relaxants like lavender oil are helpful.
- If occipital headache is due to high blood pressure, controlling it with medicine will reduce it over a period of time.
- Often aromatherapy is used to treat headache resulting from stress and strain. Aromatherapy with essential oils help to reduce stress level.
Occipital Nerve Stimulator For Headaches
An occipital nerve stimulator is an implanted device that stimulates all the nerves from the base of the spinal column up throughout the entire cranium. This method has very strict guidelines as to who can have the surgery. Evidence of disability due to headaches is required and the person must suffer 15 or more of these headaches in 1 month.
- The patient must be conscious during the procedure as it is important for them to voice sensations felt to assure proper placement of the wires and electrodes.
- X-ray will be used to observe placement and wire the nerve pathways efficiently.
- It uses electrical impulses to relax contracted muscle and release the entrapment of the occipital nerve.
- The unit can be on continuously or be switched on at the onset of an occipital headache.
- Many people using this surgical procedure have found relief from occipital headache.