Occipital neuralgia treatment: try ultrasound therapy

Back of the skull

Occipital neuralgia is a condition that affects the back of the skull and that will make your life miserable.

Occipital neuralgiais when one feels constant cervical pain, in the area of large and small occipital nerves (which corresponds to the neck to the bottom at the upper part of the head, and laterally to the ear).

I’ve been searching online for an answer, a resolution, even a hint on what to do about it, how to make it stop, what treatments exists, but all I ‘ve found is useless.
Lot of people having the same problem, nobody has the answer.
Doctors offer painkillers that aren’t a solution really, and recommend physical therapy sessions but the exercices, stretching,…they don’t really work either.

Well, some of them do work, but just once, which is good for at least relieving a little bit of the pain, but then that’s it: they won’t work a second time.
I’m not going to explain again what occipital neuralgia is: I assume if you’re here, you’ve already read a thousand articles about it and that you know what it is all about.

If you don’t know what it is, I recommend you read this article on wikipedia about occipital neuralgia, causes, symptoms & treatments
I just wanted to share two things with you about this condition.

The first one is this testimonial on Youtube that I’ve found, about someone talking about his condition, how occipital neuralgia has changed his life, what he has tried about it, and how he leaves with it.
I got emotional: It could be me telling that story. And the way he ends his testimonial is so sad: he’s young and so hopeless to find a way around it.
I’ll say no more, just watch the interview…

The second thing I want to share about occipital neuralgia is the only thing that gave me some relief and for several days now: ultrasound therapy.

So far, I only had one session because the physical therapist is on holiday now, and I’m looking forward for the next in two weeks, to get confirmation or that it works, or that it works just one time (but is still worth it so far).

Ultrasound therapy: how does it work

It’s a device that the physical therapist will use on the parts of the body that hurt. It’s important that you be able to tell the therapist where it hurts, otherwise there’s no point: he will just guess and it won’t work.

The best exemple i could find to illustrate how ultrasonic therapy works is this one, where the physical therapist focuses ond the lower back, but you get the idea, right ?

In my case, it starts below the left ear and follows the base of the skull until below the right ear.

Back of the skull

Region to focus on with occipital neuralgia condition

And in the middle, there is this “hole” where the cervical spine passes: I asked the therapist to apply the ultrasonic device for a reasonable amount of time there.
It took me several years before I realized that this was the region that I needed to take care of: this part of the neck hurts constantly, but since the pain radiates up to the top of the skull, it wasn’t easy to isolate.
Anyway, at first, the ultrasonic device feels cold and acts like some sort of deep tissue massaging device. I didn’t really feel anything else than the cold and the immediate relief: I remember I told the therapist while she was busy: “this feels really good !”

As a matter of facts, it turned out to be a better day than the usual: my neck and the base of the skull where really much less softer than they usually are.
Not only that, I woke up the next day with much less headache and pain than the usual: I would say almost bearable pain.

It’s been 5 days now: I still have the tension in my head, but the pain is still lower than it was before that day and I woke up decently every day since.
I can’t wait for the next physical session.
I think a lot of physical therapists own the ultrasonic therapeutic equipment: the medical insurance covers it so, if you suffer from occipital neuralgia, give it a try.