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What are the symptoms of occipital neuralgia?

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Occipital neuralgia can cause intense pain that feels like a sharp, jabbing, electric shock in the back of the head and neck. Other symptoms include:

  • Aching, burning, and throbbing pain that typically starts at the base of the head and goes to the scalp
  • Pain on one or both sides of the head
  • Pain behind the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Tender scalp
  • Pain when you move your neck

From: Occipital Neuralgia WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "NINDS Occipital Neuralgia Information Page." American Association of Neurological Surgeons: "Occipital Neuralgia." Jan Brandes, MD, director, Nashville Neuroscience Group at St. Thomas Health Services; assistant clinical professor, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. 


Reviewed by Neil Lava on May 6, 2018

SOURCES: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "NINDS Occipital Neuralgia Information Page." American Association of Neurological Surgeons: "Occipital Neuralgia." Jan Brandes, MD, director, Nashville Neuroscience Group at St. Thomas Health Services; assistant clinical professor, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. 


Reviewed by Neil Lava on May 6, 2018

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What are the causes of occipital neuralgia?

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