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I have experience with occipital neuralgia, for many years already. In my case, it is characterized by pain in the suboccipital region and in the back of the head. However, I wonder if that is normal that I have muscle tension headaches in the same distribution. Could you give me info about this occipital neuralgia? I wish to hear which normal symptoms are, and how to diagnose this disorder for sure.

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Known causes of neuralgic pains in this area, such as occipital neuralgia is, include trauma to the greater or lesser occipital nerves. It could also happen because of the compression of these nerves or the upper cervical roots by arthritic changes in the spine. In rare cases, tumors involving the second and third cervical dorsal roots are causing occipital neuralgia. Occipital neuralgia is characterized by continuous aching and throbbing pain, which is the most common symptom. The pain is not triggered, but pressure over the occipital nerves can lead to an exacerbation together with tension. The region of the pain clearly establishes the diagnosis. The difficult task is determined whether the nerve lesion is primary or secondary. Obviously, when occipital neuralgia has a structural basis, treatment is aimed at the cause of this. In most patients, however, treatment is symptomatic with tricyclic antidepressant and a phenothiazine. Some have advocated the injection of local anesthetics and steroids, but controlled studies of the outcomes of such treatments have not been undertaken for occipital neuralgia.
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