Occipital Neuralgia Orlando Treatment - Pursuit Physical Therapy
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What is Occipital Neuralgia?

Occipital Neuralgia (ON), or “Arnold’s Neuralgia”, is caused by disturbance mostly within the greater and lesser occipital nerves, and shows itself as recurring pain from the back of the head and neck up into the forehead. The pain can present itself on one or both sides of the head, and be sensed as a stabbing or shooting type of pain.

What causes Occipital Neuralgia?

ON may stem from issues including trauma to the head, degeneration, or surgery to the muscles, bones, blood vessels and/ or nerves.

How can Occipital Neuralgia be fixed?

A common method is local anesthetics used to block the nerves and give short-term pain relief, which includes steroids, fentanyl, and even Botox. However, physical therapy has proven to be an efficient and effective method to provide better relief. One method within the realm of physical therapy starting to show promising results is dry-needling. Further research will be conducted to show higher efficacy.

Occipital Neuralgia Case Breakdown:

Occipital Neuralgia Patient complaint

  • Patient complains of chronic head and neck pain and receives a physical therapy (PT) referral after a confirmed diagnosis of left-side ON

Treatment of Occipital Neuralgia Patient

  • Initial treatment included manual physical therapy techniques for pain relief and dry needling education
  • The second treatment included 2 types of dry needling (electrical stimulation and manual) with manual PT techniques
  • At the third session, the electrical dry needling was used again while testing for cervical (neck) pain

Occipital Neuralgia Treatment Results

  • 50% improvement after the second treatment
  • Full resolution for the patient after the third treatment
Reference: Dunning, J. (2020, January 31). Electrical Dry Needling and Upper Cervical Mobilization for Occipital Neuralgia: a Case Report. Osteopractor. https://osteopractor.wordpress.com/2020/01/31/electrical-dry-needling-and-upper-cervical-mobilization-for-occipital-neuralgia-a-case-report/