Pain in the Occipital Region
Occipital pain is also referred to as headache with neck pain. Due to the tension brought about by pressure against the occipital nerves, pain radiates through the scalp up to the eye region. The pain starts at the base of the skull and is characterized by a unilateral pattern.
When the patient experiences occipital pain, the scalp becomes tender to touch and gives off a painful shooting or throbbing sensation. Pain is stimulated upon brushing the hair, or touching areas in the upper neck and behind the ear. The patient also develops intense sensitivity to light.
Causes of the Pain in the Occipital Region
Pain in the occipital region is often more common in women. In some cases, headache becomes hard to differentiate from other conditions, most especially when the pain spreads evenly. It becomes challenging for the person to point to the physician where the origin of pain is.
- Head trauma, such as direct blow or whip
- Underlying muscle tension
- Nerve entrapment which causes muscle spasm and cramping
- Spinal column compression
- Localized inflammation. This occurs more probably in the occipital nerve, where the pain runs through the spinal column and head.
- Blood vessel inflammation
- Local tumors
- Other underlying conditions, such as diabetes.
Pain in the occipital region might be misdiagnosed as “migraine headache”. Professional medical supervision and further tests must be done to prevent these misinterpretations.
How to relieve Pain in the Occipital region
For milder occipital headache, it can be relieved at home with the use of some non-pharmacological remedies:
- Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises and listening to soothing music.
- Aromatherapy or Physical therapy
- Hot water baths
- Hot compresses
- Exercising regularly
- Proper lifestyle. Taking a balanced diet, quitting smoking, exercise, and reducing consumption of alcohol can reduce the bouts of headaches.
- Coffee. Caffeine dilates the blood vessels in the brain and works as a natural stimulant. Caffeine-containing products like coffee work as a natural headache and migraine remedy.
A simple reminder: Occipital pain has a tendency to recur. It may not be life threatening, but it may be an indication for some other underlying medical causes. If the diagnosis is simple, it is best to continue consumption of natural remedies to maximize potential benefits.