Occipital nerve, inflammation: symptoms and treatment

The occipital nerve, the inflammation of which is caused by the pinching of nearby tissues, causes a sick person a lot of suffering. When the disease progresses, the roots in the neck region are affected. The pain becomes painful, and the movements during the attack are accompanied by nausea, and sometimes a syncope. Symptomatics is extremely individual. Often the patient complains of the spread of pain in the eye, temporal and frontal parts. What are the types of neuralgia?

How does the pathological process manifest itself in an area such as the occipital nerve? Inflammation is divided into two forms, depending on the cause that caused it:

  • Primary or idiopathic. Its development occurs without any prerequisites.
  • Secondary form is caused by trauma, tumors and other pathological processes.

How does inflammation of the occipital nerve manifest? Symptoms and treatment, photos are presented in this article.

Inflammation of the occipital nerve symptoms and treatment photo

Where is the occipital nerve located?

Sensory nerve branches in the plexus in the neck, between the thoracic region and the clavicle, stretch further under the muscle in the neck. Behind the second cervical vertebra is the occipital nerve. It binds tissues and organs to the central nervous system, providing impulses.

What happens with neuralgia?

The occipital nerve, the inflammation of which is provoked by the irritation of its spine, has an increased sensitivity. Fibers in roots with the appearance of structural disorders begin to impart high frequency pulses, which cause painful sensations.

What are the reasons?

The inflammation of the occipital nerve, the symptoms and treatment of which are described in this article, has its own triggers.

  • The most common cause of the appearance of an illness is the presence of osteochondrosis in the cervical spine. In this case, the nucleus in the vertebra disk is damaged.
  • Trauma in the back or neck area, which causes compression of nerve fibers.
  • Colds of the occipital nerve.
  • Presence of arthritis of the cervical vertebra.
  • Overexertion of neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Sedentary lifestyle, constant being behind the wheel of a car, staying behind a computer monitor, desk. Muscles cramp spasms, which contributes to the development of chronic neuralgia.
  • Infectious lesions that affect the nerve fibers.
  • The presence of diseases such as encephalitis and meningitis.
  • Benign and malignant neoplasms of various etiologies and their location in the region of cervical vertebrae and brain.
  • Autoimmune diseases that provoke the destruction of the nerve cells of the body by immunity.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Rheumatic joint damage.
  • Presence of lupus erythematosus.
  • Gouty salts.
  • Diabetes mellitus.
  • Inflammation in the vessels.
  • Nervous overvoltage.
  • Negative emotions.
  • Spondylitis against tuberculosis.
  • Severe over a cold or flu.

Inflammation of the occipital nerve symptoms and treatment

Symptoms of the disease

Inflammation of the occipital nerve, the symptoms of which are varied, manifests itself at the level of sensations.

The main sign of inflammation of the occipital nerve is acute pain, which appears paroxysmally. The pain is localized in the region of innervation of the nerves in the occiput. It can spread to the neck or ear, strike as one side( occurs quite often), and both, depending on the extent of the spread of the inflammatory process.

Pain sensations are of a peculiar nature. Patients compare their feelings with lumbago, the passage of an electrical discharge, a searing pulsation. Sensations are spread along the nerve fibers. The pains are acute, quite intense, often bring the patient anguish. Provocators are the turn of the head, sneezing, coughing. To discomfort subsided, patients keep their head in a position convenient for them, slightly tilting it back or sideways.

Continues every attack from a few seconds to several minutes. The number of attacks per day varies from a single case to hundreds. A large number of seizures prevents the patient from leading a full-fledged way of life, causing a decline in working capacity. In some cases, in the period between attacks in the nape of the occiput, aching dull pain is noted.

A clear symptom of the disease is the presence of trigger triggers. When pressing on them, acute pain is caused.

From the large nerve passing in the nape, a conditional line is carried out, which connects the mastoid process and the occipital mound. It is divided into three parts. The location of the point is between the middle and inner third.

For a small nerve in the occiput in the area of ​​attachment of the sternum muscle to the mastoid process, along its margin from behind( Kerer point).

Another indicative symptom of the disease is a decrease in sensitivity in the irritated area. The injection is regarded by the patient as a touch, and a slight depression of the hand is not felt at all.

How else can inflammation of the occipital nerve manifest itself? Symptoms can be expressed in pricking, crawling, crawling, burning and other sensations. The structure of the skin in this part can become modified. Its pallor is marked, or, on the contrary, redness.

Also characterizes the disease of hypersensitivity to light. A bright light provokes aching pain in the inner part of the eyes.

Symptoms of inflammation of the occipital nerve are similar to migraine symptoms. However, if they are persistent, you should seek help from a specialist.

Symptoms of inflammation of the occipital nerve

How is the diagnosis carried out?

It is quite difficult to diagnose neuralgia. Causes of migraine may be different. Therefore, the doctor conducts a thorough examination, makes an anamnesis, reveals the presence or absence of neuralgia with the following methods:

  • Computer tomography. It allows a layered imaging of tissues through x-rays. This method is particularly accurate when diagnosing various diseases.
  • Carrying out an X-ray. This method makes it possible to assess the condition of the joints and bones.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging( MRI) can give a picture of the state of soft tissues and bones by irradiating the suspected zone of damage by electromagnetic waves.

Measures in the subacute period

Many are interested in how to treat inflammation of the occipital nerve in the subacute period. In this case, you can conduct heating procedures. At home, you can make compresses with alcohol, tincture of lavender or salicylic alcohol. Excellent proved itself acupuncture and fizioprotsedury. It should be noted laser irradiation and ultrasound therapy.

How is the treatment performed?

Treatment of inflammation of the occipital nerve can be conservative or surgical. First of all, doctors try to avoid surgery in every possible way.

How to stop inflammation of the occipital nerve? What to drink?

Inflammation of the occipital nerve that drink

Conservative treatment methods suggest:

  • Use of non-steroidal drugs with anti-inflammatory effect. For example, such as "Diclofenac", "Ibuprofen", "Meloksikam", "Naproksen" and others. The drugs relieve pain and have an anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Muscle relaxants are also used. These are medicines that help to reduce muscle tone. Their use gives excellent results provided that the development of nerve inflammation in the nape is caused by spasm of muscles on the way to its passage. The most effective drugs are such as "Tizanidin"( "Sirdalud") and "Midokalm."
  • Use of funds against convulsions and antidepressants.
  • Blockade of the nerve in the occipital part. This procedure involves the introduction of points of exit of the nerve onto the skin of a mixture of drugs. It can be hormonal preparations such as Hydrocortisone, Diprospan, Dexamethasone, or anesthetics - Lidocaine, Novocain. With proper blockade, the pain syndrome subsides. Sometimes, after a while, a secondary procedure is required.
  • Physiotherapeutic methods. Application of ultrasound, laser therapy, electrophoresis, magnetotherapy.
  • Application of massage in combination with exercise therapy.
  • Reflexotherapy.
  • Manual therapy. For example, stretching the spinal column. This measure is justified in degenerative dystrophic processes in the cervical spine.

When is surgery indicated?

In cases when the pain is chronically disturbed or there is no positive dynamics in conservative treatment, doctors recommend carrying out the operation.

Surgical intervention is of two types:

  • Stimulation of the nerves in the occiput. To their endings leads are posted, through which current pulses pass, stopping painful sensations. In a painful place, the patient feels a vibration or a feeling of heat. Such an intervention has a big plus. It does not cause side effects and causes minor mechanical damage to the body. This procedure creates an obstacle to the transmission of pain impulses from nerve cells to the brain. After reaching remission, it is necessary to treat the cause of the disease, since this technique is symptomatic.
  • Microvascular decompression is performed by means of microsurgical devices. It promotes the deactivation of the very compression of the nerves. The essence of the operation is the correction of blood vessels, which press on the nerve endings. This causes pain relief.

If surgery does not have the desired result, the patient is re-examined. However, such cases are extremely rare.

How to treat the disease at home?

How to treat inflammation of the occipital nerve? Treatment with folk remedies will be inadequate. They should be used in conjunction with the main drug therapy, the scheme of which is made by a doctor.

How is inflammation of the occipital nerve treated at home? There are a number of proven methods that help reduce or completely eliminate pain caused by inflammation of the occipital nerves:

  • Use of a bath on grass. The basis of it are oregano, thyme, peppermint. Herbs should be taken in equal parts. Take about one tablespoon with a top on a glass of boiling water. The mixture should be filtered through gauze and added to the bath. The duration of the water procedure should be 10 minutes. The intensity of treatment depends on the degree of nerve damage. As a rule, the procedures are carried out for a month.
  • Application of compresses. Take crushed pickled cucumber, potatoes, onion. Vegetables should be poured with wine vinegar and let it brew for two hours. At the same time, the mixture is periodically mixed. The compress is placed on the forehead and the back of the neck twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. It lasts one hour.
  • Drops for the ears. In each ear, a few drops of raw beet are digested. Burak can be rubbed on a small grater, put it in gauze. The resulting tampon is placed inside the ear.
  • Receiving the decoction inside. Two teaspoons of lumbago( you should use only dry grass, as fresh saturated with poisonous oils) is poured a glass of boiling water. It should be taken during the day for 50 ml.

Can the inflammation of the occipital nerve be eliminated by these methods? Treatment at home has a high degree of effectiveness, but as already noted, it is carried out in conjunction with drug therapy prescribed by the doctor.

treatment of inflammation of the occipital nerve at home

Possible consequences of

In the absence of appropriate treatment, the pain begins to progress. Nuchal nerves are subject to destruction. In addition to the appearance of permanent pain, one can get such a serious complication as blindness.

Intensive pain occurs when the inflammation of the occipital nerve is transformed into neuropathy. At the same time, nearby soft tissues become sensitive and susceptible even without head movement. The neck can be deformed.

Removing the consequences is more difficult than treating the underlying disease. Correct the curvature of the neck is not always possible. Often a person becomes an invalid.


The article examined the pathological process in an area such as the occipital nerve. Inflammation of it is a serious disease that requires urgent treatment. It is characterized by acute pain in the nape of the neck, which can spread to the eyes and ears.

How is inflammation of the occipital nerve? Treatment should be carried out in a timely manner, as the ailment can lead to irreversible accumulation.

Inflammation of the occipital nerve

In no case should one resort to an independent diagnosis, since neuralgia can be confused with neuritis, which reminds her of its symptoms, but requires absolutely different approaches to treatment.