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Headaches : Anyone have the kind the bug the scalps nerves and pain on top of the scalp

ButterflyPainBButterflyPain Posts: 290
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I don't have migraines, and I do have tension headaches from time to time...However most of the time I have nerve pain on the top of my scalp, that comes from the neck it seems. Making the nerves feel tight or burning like feeling (hard to explain). I also get an ache slight pressure feel on the top, both sides of the head and at the base of the skull. This ache is very similar if not the same as the pain I get on the side and back of my neck.

Was wondering if anyone have this type of head pain from cervical problems? Or a very similar problem, and what you do to help it?



  • I have the same issues as you. My neuro calls it occipital neuralgia. It is very hard for me to deal with. I get migraines from this. If I touch a certain spot on the back of my head, I get a zap or burning type sensation racing towards the top of my head. Sometimes I get knots back there, which are even more painful. It seems to never stop, or go away. It feels like a constant bruise or like I was hit by a bat in that area!!!
    Now for some ideas for relief:
    Put slight pressure on the base of your skull. I ordered an occipital pillow.(Google it) It uses little nodules on a foam base to put the pressure there for you. Otherwise, you can try massaging/pressure with your fingertips.
    Ice the area back there. You can also try heat if preferred, but I personally like the ice better.
    Talk to your Dr. about it as there are some things the pain clinic can do to ease the pain. I've gotten injections on the base of my skull and it improves it a lot. (sounds awful, but it works-short term)
    There are some medications that might help. I was on one prior to surgery that helped for awhile. I can't remember the name, but it dissolved in my mouth. Some other meds I can recall help this are Topamax, Depakote.

    I have read there isn't really much danger with this, and surgery is pretty much a last resort. Because of the other issues I have, this problem is usually put on the "back burner". I just cope as best as possible, and try to avoid stressing the area. I suggest you Google occipital neuralgia to find out more. I hope this helps.
  • Is very easy for a doc to diagnose. A few simple nerve blocks can do the trick in a matter of minutes. ON is typically treated with meds along the lines of Neurontin, Lamictal, Carbamazepine to name a few. I've used them all to combat it for many years. RF Ablations can also be done to the offending nerve.

    If you aren't seeing a neurologist yet, that would be my personal recommendation for getting some help. They are very versed in ON, much more so than a GP, a PM or a NS.

    I've battled this since 1998 and it is very treatable if you get the right doc to diagnose it and treat it.

    If this is what you even have. I'm simply commenting on occipital neuralgia, not trying to diagnose your problem.

  • Thanks for your thoughts and information.
    I will definitely bring this up to my doctor, see if he thinks it is a possibility. Typically for this one nerve that comes from the back to my left eye he has called it occipital neuritis.

    I will definitely google the pillow, and ice up.

    Any other useful info is welcomed. :)
  • I have had these kinds of symptoms ever since 1989, when I first injured my neck. It basically took about 3 months for the head symptoms to develop, but they always have been with me ever since. Mind you, until my surgery, it wasn't very painful. It was more or less characterized by degrees of tingling, burning, and tightness, similar to what you describe.

    When I had my fusion, the symptoms became catastrophically worse. You can review my postings here if you are interested in my recovery history and what happened. To make a long story short, I basically did recover well, starting post 2 years after the surgery, culminating in a really good state of affairs in my 3rd year afterward. I know run and play sports, although I can't say that I don't have some intermittent symptoms.

    I don't take medicines and never have, save for a 3 month stint with Gapapentin and Amitryptolene 1 year after my surgery. What little pain medications I have taken never seemed to make an impact, hence my refusal to take them on.

    I can tell you that exercise helps me tremendously, especially now. With every stroke of progress, I use it to increase my endurance and strength training, to the point where I literally feel my muscles taking the load off my skeletal infrastructure. In summary, there is no silver bullet cure to this. In my experience and observations, this is something you learn to manage...as opposed to letting it manage you.

    Cheers, Mate
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