OCCIPITAL NEURALGIA AND SPASTIC NECK MUSCLES-IS THERE A CONNECTION?
Occipital Neuralgia is a pain syndrome that causes severe pain at the back of the head. Like its cousin, Trigeminal Neuralgia, it can completely take over one’s existence. Standard treatment options are strong pain killing medication and seizure medication like neurontin, kepra, tegretol and others. In this article we would like to talk about what causes this condition and what you can do about it. We will discuss the ramifications of whiplash type trauma and its effects on the nervous system. Later we will discuss a little known procedure called Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic that is non invasive, gentle, and effective.
OCCIPITAL NEURALGIA SYMPTOMS
- Aching, burning, and throbbing pain that typically starts at the base of the head and radiates to the scalp.
- Sensitivity to sound.
- Pain behind the eye.
- Sensitivity to light.
- Pain on one or both sides of the head.
- Slurred speech.
- Pain when moving the neck.
HOW CAN A NECK INJURY CAUSE OCCIPITAL NEURALGIA?
We have found that most patients who have chronic health problems have pre-existing whiplash type trauma that precedes the onset of health problems. Many times the injury was many years prior and the person does not connect the event to their suffering. Why would they? Most Americans are NOT taught that injuries to the spine can result in chronic health problems. The American public knows little about the harmful effects neck injury can have on their health.
Traumas like car accidents, sports injuries, and other jolting trauma can cause the upper cervical spine to structurally misalign. The head and neck relationship is naturally unstable. The head weighs 10-12 pounds and the top bone in the neck the atlas weighs 2 ounces. Furthermore the head rests on the top of a “stick” your neck, this relationship makes it susceptible to injury. When the neck and head are subjected to injury micro tears to the soft tissue and joint capsules (ligaments that support joints) occur. This injury can causes instability in the joint and what results is muscle spasms and structural adaptation that causes irritation to the central nervous system.
Occipital Neuralgia can be caused by injuries to the upper cervical spine which then causes chronic muscle spasms in the neck. The spastic muscles entrap and irritate the occipital nerve producing the sharp jolting pain the patients feels traveling along the nerve. Patients who suffer with this syndrome typically have symptomatic treatment with drugs and are ignoring the root cause. To get well one must correct the cause not cover up the symptoms.