Can the Occipital Nerve Cause Chronic Migraine?

I have been experiencing migraines since I was a teenager. Almost 20 years ago I began getting them on an almost daily basis. Thankfully I had an employer who was sympathetic and very understanding. I am still having 17 to 21 migraine days a month. 24 days a month is my personal best.

About 10 years ago I started feeling a painful pinch in the base my neck whenever I tried to perform an activity while standing. I was referred to a spine specialist who took a lot of xrays. Turned out my 5th cervical vertebra was bulging and my 6th vertebra had slipped. I also have spinal stenosis of the cervical spine. It was suggested that I have surgery to fix the problem vertebrae to ease my pain. They dissected and fused my vertebrae together and I was pain free.

Now it’s the present. Not only am I experiencing chronic migraine, but I have just been diagnosed with Occipital Neuralgia. This is a nerve at the base of the neck which comes up behind the ear, around the eye and through the scalp. It can be confused as migraine except it has a sharp pain which lasts only a few seconds. I was referred by my neurologist to the local pain center for an Occipital Nerve Block which are injections into the Occipital Nerve of an anesthetic to ease the nerve and stops the pain almost immediately.

I received the injections and will keep you posted on how well they do. Wish me luck.

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