What is occipital neuralgia? How is it related to fibromyalgia?

By admin On November 22, 2017 In Fibromyalgia, health Leave a comment Edit
One of the worst things about fibromyalgia, in addition to chronic pain and fatigue, has to be the way in which people suffering from fibromyalgia are at risk of so many other conditions, such as autoimmune diseases and, especially, chronic headaches. .
It is estimated that up to forty percent of people with fibromyalgia have migraines or some other form of persistent headache. But like fibromyalgia, it’s hard to get to the bottom of what is causing your headaches. And like fibromyalgia, migraines are often misdiagnosed. In fact, some people who suffer from persistent headaches do not actually suffer from migraines, but from a related condition called occipital neuralgia. So, what is occipital neuralgia? How is it related to fibromyalgia? And what can you do to treat it?


What is occipital neuralgia?
Occipital neuralgia is a condition that causes chronic pain at the base of the skull. People often describe it as an electric shock or even similar to being stabbed in the muscle. The pain usually radiates from the back of the head to the neck and to the sides of the head or behind the eye.
The root of the condition is found in the occipital nerves. These are nerves that go from the back of the neck and the spine through the sides of the head to the scalp. But sometimes, injuries or inflammation of the muscles of the spine cause the tissue to begin to press on these nerves. This leads to a condition called neuralgia, where the nerves begin to send pain signals to the brain.
That produces symptoms that are similar to migraines, which makes it difficult to diagnose the disease. Doctors can diagnose the condition by performing a physical examination, pressing with your finger at the base of the skull to see if the pain worsens. In addition, they can also give you something called nerve block, which interrupts the interaction between the nerves, which can help prove that it is neuralgia instead of migraines.
But there are many different conditions that can lead to neuropathy, and that is why it could affect people with fibromyalgia more often than the general population.
How is it related to fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia puts you at risk for several different conditions and some of them are also factors that contribute to neuralgia. For example, diabetes is a common complaint of people with fibromyalgia. And the nerve pain of diabetes can contribute significantly to the risk of developing occipital neuralgia.
In addition, we know that having fibromyalgia makes you more likely to develop autoimmune diseases. An autoimmune condition is one in which the body’s immune system begins to attack the body’s own tissue. This produces painful inflammation throughout the body. And a common autoimmune condition is something called arteritis. Arteritis causes inflammation in the walls of blood vessels. This inflammation can put pressure on the occipital nerves and may be the root cause of the neuralgia.
And fibromyalgia also seems to affect the nerves. Fibromyalgia seems to activate the nerves to send pain signals to the brain. And it could be that the same nervous connections can contribute to the symptoms of occipital neuralgia.
Therefore, there are many possible reasons why fibromyalgia might contribute to the condition, but what you probably want to know if you have it is what you can do to treat it.
How can you treat it?
There are some things you can do to provide immediate relief. The best thing you can do is rest a little. Moving your neck can make the pain worse. Instead, curl up and apply a warm compress on the back of the neck. And massaging the neck muscles can help, just like basic pain medications, without a prescription.
Your doctor may also prescribe a series of medications that can help with the symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants to help relieve too tight muscles that press on nerves. And they can also prescribe steroid injections that help reduce tissue inflammation.
In addition, the doctor can administer regular injections of nerve blocks. These nerve blocks tend to disappear after a week or two, so you may need a series of treatments to help control your symptoms.
In combination with rest and warm compresses, these medications are usually enough to help resolve the worst symptoms of the condition.
So, do you suffer from neuralgia? Do you think it is related to your fibromyalgia? Let us know in the comments.

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