Best Stretches and Exercises for Occipital Neuralgia

Best exercises and stretches for occipital neuralgia

If you are one of the 4 million Americans who suffer from occipital neuralgia, you know how debilitating and frustrating this condition can be.

The good news is that there are exercises and stretches that can help provide relief. In this blog post, we will discuss the best exercises and stretches for occipital neuralgia. We will also provide videos demonstrating how to do these exercises correctly.

What are the best exercises and stretches for occipital neuralgia?

One of the best exercises for occipital neuralgia pain relief is neck rotation. This exercise helps to stretch tight muscles in the upper neck.

Neck rotation exercise

  • Sit up tall in a chair with your chin tucked down.
  • Slowly turn your head to look over your right shoulder, then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side. Do this exercise several times per day.

What is occipital neuralgia?

Occipital neuralgia is a type of headache that is caused by compression or irritation of the occipital nerves. The occipital nerves are located at the back of the head, and they provide sensation to the scalp.

Occipital neuralgia can cause a sharp, shooting pain that starts at the base of the skull and radiates outward. It can also cause nerve pain.

Source: HealthJade.net

Occipital neuralgia symptoms

  • dull, throbbing pain along the back and top of head
  • aching pain in head and neck
  • intense pain through head
  • numbness, tingling, and weakness
  • often aggravated with movement
  • pain with sleeping, working, and everyday activities

Treatment for occipital neuralgia pain

There are a number of treatment options available for occipital neuralgia, depending on the underlying cause.

3 out of 100 people will suffer from occipital neuralgia

Medications

Prescribed pain medications, such as tricyclic antidepressants and gabapentinoids, can help to relieve pain. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) medications and muscle relaxants are also commonly prescribed.

Injections

There are different types of injections that can be used to treat occipital neuralgia.

Occipital nerve blocks are injections that are made into the occipital nerves, which are located at the base of the skull. Occipital nerve blocks can help to reduce pain and inflammation.

Trigger point injections are another type of injection that can be used to treat occipital neuralgia. Trigger point injections are made into the muscles in the back of the head, neck, and shoulders and can help to relieve muscle tension and pain.

Facet injections are another type of injection that can be used to treat occipital neuralgia. Facet injections are made into the joints in the back of the head and neck and can help to reduce inflammation and pain.

Neck stretches to the side

Massage for neck pain

Massage therapy is one treatment option that can help to relieve neck pain associated with occipital neuralgia. During a massage, the therapist will use their hands to apply pressure to the muscles and soft tissue in the affected area.

This pressure can help to release tension and ease muscle spasms. In addition, the therapist may also use gentle stretching and range of motion exercises to help relieve pain.

Massage therapy can provide significant relief from head and neck pain and improve the quality of life.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is a treatment for occipital neuralgia that can help to relieve pain, improve range of motion, and correct poor posture. Physical therapists use a variety of techniques to treat occipital neuralgia, including massage, stretching, and electrical stimulation.

Exercises and stretching

Exercises can help to relieve pressure on the nerves and muscles, and they can also help to increase flexibility and range of motion. In addition, exercises and stretches can help to improve circulation and reduce inflammation. As a result, they are often an effective treatment for occipital neuralgia.

Neck stretches in the back

Best occipital neuralgia exercises and stretches

Occipital neuralgia is a condition that causes pain in the occipital nerve, which runs from the base of the skull to the top of the spine. When this nerve becomes compressed or pinched, it can cause sharp, shooting pain in the back of the head and neck.

Occipital neuralgia can be caused by a variety of factors, including muscle tension, arthritis, or injury. Some people experience occipital neuralgia as a result of chronic stress and tension headaches.

Stretching and exercise are often recommended as treatments for occipital neuralgia. Stretching the muscles in the back of the head and neck can help to release tension and relieve pressure on the occipital nerve.

Exercise can also help to reduce stress and tension headaches. In addition, some people find that massaging the back of the head and neck can help to ease occipital neuralgia symptoms.

Here are some of the best stretches and exercises for occipital neuralgia.

Neck Rolls

  • Start by sitting up tall in a chair with your shoulders relaxed and your back straight.
  • Slowly roll your head from side to side, letting your chin drop down towards your chest on each side.
  • Do not force your head into any positions that are uncomfortable.
  • Repeat this exercise for 30 seconds to one minute.

Head Turns

  • Start by sitting up tall in a chair with your shoulders relaxed and your back straight.
  • Slowly turn your head to the right, letting your chin drop down towards your right shoulder.
  • Hold this position for five seconds before slowly returning to the starting position.
  • Repeat this exercise on the left side.
  • Do not force your head into any positions that are uncomfortable.
  • Repeat this exercise for 30 seconds to one minute.

Suboccipital muscle release

The suboccipital muscles are muscles that often become shortened with forward head posture and can create compression of the suboccipital nerves. Releasing them through self-massage can help relieve pressure.

  • Start by sitting in a comfortable position.
  • With your fingertips, find the ridge at the base of your skull and slide your fingertips under it.
  • You may feel some tender spots in the muscle.
  • Apply gentle pressure and massage the muscles in a circular motion.
  • Slowly tilt your head back and forth while adding pressure to the forces.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds to one minute

Chin retractions

Chin retractions activate the stabilizing muscles of the neck and help to alleviate the pressure on the back of the neck.

  • Start by laying on your back on a firm but comfortable surface.
  • Pull your chin back without flexing your head forward (think of a turtle retracting its neck in).
  • Hold that position and press the back of your head firmly into the surface while holding the chin in position
  • Hold this for 30 seconds
  • Repeat 10-15 times

Scalene stretch

The scalene muscles are a group of three muscles located on the front and sides of the neck. These muscles can become shortened with forward head posture and can contribute to compression of the nerves in the neck. Stretching these muscles can help relieve pressure on the nerves.

  • Start by sitting in a comfortable position.
  • Place your right hand behind your head and tilt your head to the left, bringing your ear towards your shoulder.
  • Hold this stretch for 30 seconds before repeating on the other side

Occipital neuralgia pain

Conclusion

Regular stretching and exercise can help to prevent pain from occurring in the first place. By maintaining flexibility and range of motion, you can help to reduce the risk of developing occipital neuralgia. So, don’t wait until you are in pain to start stretching and exercising!

You should always consult a doctor or your medical professional with any symptoms of

Do you have any favorite stretches or exercises for occipital neuralgia?

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