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Occipital Neuralgia

One cause of pain in the back of the head and scalp, sometimes associated with abnormal skin sensation in that area, is occipital neuralgia. 

This may be due to entrapment of the greater occipital nerve which passes under the muscles and ligaments at the base of the skull and passes up into the scalp.  This may be due to wear and tear in the upper cervical spine, trauma or may occur spontaneously.   Sometimes occipital neuralgia may be helped by an occipital nerve block, which we discuss further on this page.

 A detailed paper on this condition and its potential treatment may be accessed here, and there is a useful information page on the Johns Hopkins Headache Center site.


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Pain Service Website, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Webmaster Dr J G de Courcy, Consultant in Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia
email: pain.webmaster[at]

Page updated 22/6/2016