Occipital Neuralgia Quiz

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Shohei Harase, MD (Neurology)

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Learn more about Occipital neuralgia

Content updated on Sep 20, 2022

What is occipital neuralgia?

Occipital neuralgia is a type of headache characterized by intense pain, throbbing, or electric-shock-like pain in the upper neck, back of the head, behind the ears and usually on one side of the head. It could be a result of a pinched nerve root in the neck due to tight muscles, arthritis, injury or surgery to the headl.

Symptoms of occipital neuralgia

  • Headache

  • Pain over the back of my head

  • Headache affecting one side of my head

  • Pain over the temples

  • Headache with sharp, electric shock-like pain

  • Tingling or prickling sensation of the skin

  • Numbness or abnormal sensation

  • Throbbing headache

Questions your doctor may ask to check for occipital neuralgia

Your doctor may ask these questions to diagnose occipital neuralgia

  • Do you have headaches or does your head feel heavy?

  • Do you have pain behind your head?

  • Do you have pain on only one side of you head?

  • Do you have pain around your temples?

  • Does your headache feel a sharp pain like an electric shock?

Treatment for occipital neuralgia

Treatment options include rest, applying heat/ ice to the neck, massage and pain killers.

View the symptoms of Occipital neuralgia


  • Pan W, Peng J, Elmofty D. Occipital Neuralgia. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2021 Jul 21;25(9):61. doi: 10.1007/s11916-021-00972-1. PMID: 34287719.


  • Barmherzig R, Kingston W. Occipital Neuralgia and Cervicogenic Headache: Diagnosis and Management. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2019 Mar 19;19(5):20. doi: 10.1007/s11910-019-0937-8. PMID: 30888540.


  • Choi I, Jeon SR. Neuralgias of the Head: Occipital Neuralgia. J Korean Med Sci. 2016 Apr;31(4):479-88. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2016.31.4.479. Epub 2016 Mar 9. PMID: 27051229; PMCID: PMC4810328.


  • Wamsley CE, Chung M, Amirlak B. Occipital Neuralgia: Advances in the Operative Management. Neurol India. 2021 Mar-Apr;69(Supplement):S219-S227. doi: 10.4103/0028-3886.315980. PMID: 34003169.


  • Dougherty C. Occipital neuralgia. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2014 May;18(5):411. doi: 10.1007/s11916-014-0411-x. PMID: 24737457.


Reviewed By:

Shohei Harase

Shohei Harase, MD (Neurology)

From our team of 50+ doctors

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

Ubie is supervised by 50+ medical experts worldwide

Shohei Harase

Shohei Harase, MD


Kameda Medical Center, Japan

Yu Shirai

Yu Shirai, MD


Yotsuya Yui Clinic, Japan

Yoshinori Abe

Yoshinori Abe, MD

Internal medicine

Co-founder of Ubie, Inc.

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Rohini R, MD

Ear, nose, throat (ENT)

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National Center for Child Health and Development, Japan

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