Occipital Migraines has anyone heard of this?

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/5/2006 7:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Occipital Migraines has anyone heard of this? 
A neurologist I was seeing diagnosed me with this and I cannot find any information on the internet about this particular migraine.  He said if involves the lesser & greater occipital nerves.  This migraines starts out in the back of the head.  My headaches seem to begin in my neck and move into my head.  Often my neck is stiff & swollen and the headaches are hard to get rid of.  Sometime triptans want even work.  I am currently using topamax and have noticed a reduction in my headaches but not much releif for my neck pain.  I hope someone has heard of this.  I am beginning to wonder if this is really migraines at all and not something more serious with my nerves.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/6/2006 9:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Interesting. Im new hear and I experiance a similar sinsation when i feel a migrain come on. It like a stange tingling in the back of my head. Where the head meets the neck. Then it turns into presure and walla I have a migraine. But this is accompanied by a ringing in my ears. I haven't seen a neurologist yet. But I think i just might... concidering this has been going on for about 3 weeks, and i have never had a migraine in my life before this episode.

Forum Administrator

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 9810
   Posted 3/7/2006 1:13 AM (GMT -6)   
There is a diagnosed condition called "occipital neuralgia" which is when nerve pain is experienced in the neck and scalp.  A search of Google on this term turns up a lot of results.  Hope this helps.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 765
   Posted 3/7/2006 3:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Also a good site to give a good view "images showing area's the muscles affect upon the nerves and exercises re this condition"www.round-earth.com go to cervical tests

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 3/19/2006 10:05 AM (GMT -6)   
I believe I have these "occipital migraines'. (I seem to have all sorts of manifestations) I have found some relief with Bupap and Cephadyn (same stuff, different names) They think they are tensions that progress unless immediately treated as a migraine.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 3/20/2006 1:09 AM (GMT -6)   
I have migraines at the base of my head, but I was told by a doctor at health services on campus that it was basilar migraines. I have had them before, 3 years ago, but was told back then that they were just tension headaches and was blown off. Had it for a year. This time is worse. But it's right at the base, where the head meets the neck and it's more of intense pressure than sharp pain and stuff. I get vertigo sometimes and when the pressure moves down to a certain point in my neck I get really nauseous and uncomfortable. I'm on topamax, but I just stopped taking it because I think it has cause a lot more problems. I might be having seizures now, but I'm not sure. I just got tested. This past weekend, I started getting weird things happening. Like one arm will get really tight and stiff, and my fingers will curl up and it just freezes for a couple seconds, sometimes a little longer, then relax again. Sometimes it is both arms, sometimes it is just one. Sometimes it is one foot or my calf. Sometimes it is the arm, then shoots down to the leg. It is very scary! I don't know what to do! Have you had any bad experiences with the topamax?

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 3/25/2006 1:54 AM (GMT -6)   
you may want to try taking two tennis balls and putting them in a tube sock/ panty hose leg and secure them side by side with knots. on the back of your head is a ridge where muscles attach. lay on floor with the tennis balls right on that ridge. if it's muscular, the pressure may trigger a release and give some relief. better try as soon as it comes on though- once it's full blown... you know how it is

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 3/27/2006 3:57 PM (GMT -6)   

I have Cervicogenic Headaches.  They start at the top of my neck and go up either or both sides of the back of my head.  If they go untreated they turn into migraines.  Some of you sound like you might have similar problems.  (I did get double whiplash 10 years ago in a car accident but from what I read there are various causes.)   I had a headache pretty much all the time for a couple years.  They didn’t start until over 3 years after my accident.  Just information and something else to search on.


Good luck!



Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 3/27/2006 5:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone!  I, too, have migraines which begin at the base of my skull and engulf the entire back of my head.  Sometimes, they reach to right behind my ears.  While some people have auras of a visual nature, I have one of an auditory kind of nature. I get a " whap, whap, whap" sound inside the back of the base of my skull.  This sounds to me like the scary music that comes up just before a monster attacks in sci fi films!  So far my new med Frova has helped with the headaches!  chesswoman

Kelly Avis
New Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 3/28/2006 8:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had occipical (sp) "blocks" where the doctor shoots some drug into the occipical nerve area which is behind the ear. The blocks are very effective, but unfortunately cost a fortune.

laura l.
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 3/28/2006 9:42 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi TM,

Has your doctor mentioned occipital neuralgia?  This is a disorder of the second and third cranial nerves (which combine and form the occipital nerves).  Some think pain is due to muscle contraction on the nerves, but there is also the theory that there is pressure on the C2 nerve root (like a herniated disc in a way) and that releasing the pressure helps relieve the pain.  It is worth mentioning to your doctor as another possibility in the differential diagnosis.  I am a physician and when you mentioned your symptoms were always occiptal but poorly responsive to triptans it made me wonder about occipital neuralgia.  Hope you feel better soon!

Laura L.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/30/2006 7:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Don't know if this will help, but I suffer from C5 and C6 disk injuries in my neck as well as L4, L5, and S1 in my lower back. If I overdo it, which being a mom and the wife of a disabled man I always tend to do, I get severe chronic occipital migraines which until recently lasted from 2-3 days as long as 2-3 weeks. That is a long time to be in persistent pain. I have a tens unit for my back and just on the off shot, I decided that I could stand this headache no more. I was going on 3 weeks of unbearable pain and was ready to chop the head off. So I put my tens unit on and put the patches on the trigger points on my shoulders that were swollen. To my utter surprise and relief, within 4 hours, the swelling had gone done and the headache had started to disappear. No amount of skelaxin or zanaflex did what my tens unit did. It took a total of about 6 hours of 15 minutes on 15 minutes off with the tens unit, but the headache did go away. I just read today an article about a nerostimulator they implant in at the base of your neck that is supposed to help these headaches too. Maybe that explains why the tens unit worked for me. At least, for myself, I have found a solution. I hope it works for others too.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/9/2007 2:14 PM (GMT -6)   
I know this is an old thread, but may have some info that might help.  See my post under "Strange Headache" for my details.
I've been working with a therapist for a month - he specializes in CranioSacral Therapy, Myofacial Release and Lymph Drainage.  For a month he's been working on various areas, but yesterday worked directly on the Occipital/Atlas (OA) release along with some other CranioSacral techniques, deep tissue massage and passive stretching.  I went home with the least pain in the back of my head (occipital region) that I'd had in over a month.  I woke up today with only minimal pain (whew!) and other than some mild shooting pain when using the computer and driving, have been pain free today.  This is a miracle as far as I'm concerned after 4 months of battling recurring headaches of various kinds and several major headaches of the mind-blowing kind.  I will post again next week to let you know if I continue to improve.
http://www.iahp.com/pages/search/index.php - This is a link from the Upledger Institute.  They teach CranioSacral Therapy and several other manual therapies.  This should have been the first place I went for help - I'm a licensed massage therapist (not currently practising) have been trained in this technique. So big DUH to me for not doing this at the very first sign of pain.  This link will take you straight to the 'find a therapist' page.  If you decide to try this route, find the therapist in your area with the most diverse training as they will be more likely to provide help.
http://www.round-earth.com/HeadPainIntro.html - I'm re-posting this link that someone in a previous post had... I read this entire page and WOW - this is so ME!  I'll be taking this page to my therapist so I can better describe the types of sensations I am having and he can relate that to the appropriate muscle groups.
As I said, I will post again next week to let you know if this is helping.  For those that have tried massage and/or chiropractic with no success, these therapies are quite different and work in ways that they can't. They are also different than Physical Therapy, which for me has had some benefit but not as much relief as yesterday's session.
Good luck, Jeanne

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/29/2009 1:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like you should see a chiropractor for re alignment, which will help the neck pain and in turn aleviate the related migrane.
Also, adding magnesium supplements to your daily vitamin supplements will help with real migranes since they are mostly the result of constriction in blood vessels. Magnesium helps the ody absorb calcium, and it also helps regulate blood pressure, which helps aleviate stress, also iliminating another type of migrane (stress related).
This is what my neurologist and my chiropractor have told me, and I have put theory to practice, for me it works
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