MIGRAINES & OCCIPITAL HEADACHES - Minivasive Pain & Orthopedics

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Migraines & Occipital Headaches


Everyone suffers from the occasional headache, but when the pain begins to affect your quality of life, it can be unbearable. Migraines are severe headaches that cause throbbing pain or pulsing sensations on one side of the head, and many say it feels like an extreme hangover due to the typical symptoms of accompanied nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Some people experience a warning symptom called an “aura” before the start of a migraine, which can cause visual or sensory disturbances. Unfortunately, many who suffer from headache disorders like migraines and occipital neuralgia go undiagnosed and untreated.

If you have frequent distressing headaches, make sure to keep a record of these attacks and how you treated them and make an appointment with a doctor to discuss it.

Signs & Symptoms of Headache Disorders

About 12% of the U.S. population suffers from migraines, which are most common among premenopausal women, although they can affect anyone, and often begin early in life. While the most common migraine symptom is headache, many experience additional symptoms, and some don’t experience headaches with every migraine.
Occipital headaches may overlap with migraines, affect the occipital nerves starting at the top part of the spinal cord and going up through the back of the skull. Head pain associated with occipital headaches may be sudden, jabbing, piercing, or throbbing/burning. Pain starts at the skull base and may be felt behind the eyes, in the upper neck, or behind the ears.
Because treatment is different for migraines and occipital headaches, it’s important to make an accurate diagnosis for head pain. Some patients experience both migraine and occipital neuralgia, making it more challenging to treat the root of the problem.


Fortunately, most patients respond to conservative, nonoperative treatments by maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular physical activity and taking pain-relieving medications taken during migraine attacks. Some preventative medications taken daily can reduce the severity or frequency of headaches. Other treatments can help you relax and relieve pain, such as warm compresses or massages.

For patients who don’t respond to these, other treatments can provide relief. Your doctor may recommend nerve blocks, pulsed radiofrequency, physical therapy, or even surgery, although only as a last resort.

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