Alternative Therapies for Occipital Neuralgia

Occipital neuralgia is a condition that is characterized by chronic pain in the locations of the lesser and greater occipital nerves. People with this condition experience pain in the upper neck, back of the head and behind the eyes. While many people choose to have back and neck injections along with several different medications, there are natural remedies that can help with the pain that this medical condition causes. Learn some of the alternative therapies for occipital neuralgia below!


Combining massage and bodywork techniques with acupuncture can help reduce a patient’s occipital headache. Research from a Chinese medicine hospital in Guangzhou showed that acupuncture plus acupoint-injection can be extremely effective for greater occipital neuralgia. Because acupuncture can help relieve inflammation, this is a great option to help relieve the “a permanent headache” many patients deal with.

Partake in Cranial Osteopathy

Victims who suffer from reoccurring headaches and migraines that never seem to go away usually benefit from this type of therapy. Cranial osteopathy consists of a head massage which manipulates the body and causes your cranial pressure to disperse. You can also do these cranial exercises at home along with other muscular relaxation exercises. Studies have shown that if you do them at least three times per week, the number of headaches and migraines you have will significantly decrease.

Adjust Your Diet

Staying and eating healthy is good for everyone, not just for people with occipital neuralgia. Vitamin B boosts the body’s ability to heal itself, thus aiding in relieving your neck pain. Putting more Vitamin B in your diet helps assist normal nervous system development and nerve regeneration. In addition, eating more fish oils and fatty acids helps to lower inflammation around the nerves. Essentially, eat healthily and increase your intake of certain vitamins and it should help relieve your pain.

Heat Therapy

Use a heating pad and place it directly on the neck area. This should loosen up your muscles and relieve some strain and pressure, resulting in the alleviation of pain. Make sure not to have it too hot, though, because that will increase the pain and damage your neck even further. If you don’t have a heating pad on hand, you can heat up a hot water bag and that acts as the same thing. Dimming the lights or completely turning them off also helps, taking the strain off your eyes.

Neck Exercises

There are many different exercises you can perform to help relieve the pain of occipital neuralgia. The first is sub-occipital neck stretch, which is when you lay directly on your back and slowly stretch your neck and head backward. The second is neck rotation, which is standing or sitting up straight and then proceeding too slowly rotate and stretch your neck back and forth. The last one is neck extension, which is when you sit upright in a sturdy chair and slowly stretch your neck and upper body all the way backward until you’re staring at the ceiling.

Alleviate Your Occipital Neuralgia Pain with Help from Premier Pain Centers

If you fall victim to occipital neuralgia, the doctors here at Premier Pain Centers have years of experiencing helping patients relieve the pain associated with this condition. If you are experiencing pain similar to the symptoms of occipital neuralgia, please request an appointment or contact us at (732)-380-0200 today.