Occipital neuralgia is a severe type of headache that causes symptoms such as piercing or throbbing pain in the upper neck, the back of the head and behind the ears. Some people who suffer from this disorder will also have pain in the forehead and behind the eyes and will experience light sensitivity as well. Occipital neuralgia can be brought on by trauma, compression of the spinal column, blood vessel inflammation, tumors and even localized infections. The pain brought on by this condition can make it difficult to sleep, but there are some things you can do to ease the discomfort and get a good night's rest.
If a migraine patient has headaches exclusively at the back of the scalp at one side, it may be tempting to perform one of the above permanent procedures to quickly “fix” the problem. Since migraines are thought to be due to a problem in the patient’s brain, however, and not the nerve itself, after a procedure it is possible that these patients might discover that their headaches have moved to another location, or that there is some improvement in pain but continued episodes of nausea, light-sensitivity, etc. We therefore only rarely recommend these procedures in migraine patients, especially since there have been no scientific studies proving that they work over the long haul.