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10 Occipital Neuralgia Exercises and Stretches to Relieve Pain

Ritchie is big into his fitness and sports. He loves writing about how to keep healthy in a fun way!

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Occipital neuralgia is a condition that causes pain in the back of the head and neck. The pain is often caused by pressure on the nerves in these areas. There are several exercises and stretches that can help relieve the pain associated with occipital neuralgia.

1. Neck Rolls

Gently roll your head from side to side, being careful not to put any pressure on your neck. This will help stretch the muscles and relieve some of the pressure on the nerves. Make sure that you keep your chin level with your shoulders as you roll your head.

Start slowly and increase the speed of the rolls as you get used to the movement. Do 10-15 rolls in each direction.

2. Neck Stretches

There are a few different neck stretches that can help relieve occipital neuralgia pain. To do the first stretch, sit up straight in a chair with your shoulders relaxed. Gently tilt your head to the left and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the right side

For the second stretch, stand up straight with your chin level with your shoulders. Gently push your head back, keeping your chin level, and hold for 30 seconds. Again make sure that you have warmed up before doing this stretch. Make sure you take deep breaths during a stretch and never force your body into a position that causes pain.

3. Shoulder Rolls & Shrugs

Sit or stand with a good posture and roll your shoulders backward 10 times. Then roll them forward 10 times. You can also do circular motions with your shoulders to help stretch the muscles and relieve pressure on the nerves.

Stand up straight with your shoulders relaxed and your chin level with your shoulders. Slowly shrug your shoulders up to your ears and hold for 30 seconds. Release the shrug and let your shoulders relax back down to starting position. Repeat 10 times.

4. Scalp Massage

Gently massage your scalp with your fingers in a circular motion. This will help to relax the muscles and relieve some of the pressure on the nerves. Start at the forehead and work your way back. Spend extra time massaging any areas that are particularly tender.

5. Heat Therapy

Applying heat to the neck and head can help to relieve some of the pain associated with occipital neuralgia. There are a few different ways to do this. You can use a heating pad, take a warm bath, or apply a warm compress to the affected area.

6. Chin Tucks

Stand up straight with your shoulders relaxed and your chin level with your shoulders. Gently tuck your chin down toward your chest and hold for 30 seconds. Release the tuck and let your chin return to starting position. Repeat 10 times.

7. Jaw Rolls

Sit or stand with good posture and roll your jaw in a circular motion 10 times in each direction. You can also open your mouth wide and then close it slowly a few times.

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8. Ear Pulls

Gently pull on your earlobes 10 times in each direction. This will help to stretch the muscles and relieve some of the pressure on the nerves.

9. Facial Exercises

There are a few different facial exercises that can help relieve occipital neuralgia pain. One exercise is to close your eyes and then raise your eyebrows as high as you can. Hold for 10 seconds and then relax. Repeat 10 times.

Another exercise is to open your mouth wide and then close it slowly a few times. This will help to stretch the muscles and relieve some of the pressure on the nerves.

10. Relaxation Techniques

There are a few different relaxation techniques that can help relieve occipital neuralgia pain. One technique is progressive muscle relaxation. This involves tensing and then relaxing each muscle group in your body, starting with your toes and working up to your head.

Another technique is deep breathing. This involves taking deep, slow breaths and focusing on relaxing your muscles. Both of these techniques can help to relieve some of the pain associated with occipital neuralgia.

Doing these exercises and stretches on a regular basis can help to relieve the pain of occipital neuralgia and prevent it from coming back. However, if the pain is severe or lasts for more than a few days, you should see a doctor rule out any other possible causes.

Occipital neuralgia can be a painful condition, but there are several exercises and stretches that can help relieve the pain. Neck rolls, neck stretches, shoulder shrugs, scalp massage, and heat therapy are all effective treatments for this condition. If the pain is severe or lasts for more than a few days, you should see a doctor to rule out any other possible causes.

Seek Advice from a Certified Physical Therapist

If you are experiencing chronic headaches or pain in the back of your head and neck, see a certified physical therapist. A PT can perform a full assessment to find the root cause of your pain and devise a treatment plan to address the underlying issues. Exercises, stretches, manual therapy, and other treatments can help relieve occipital neuralgia pain and prevent it from coming back.

They will prescribe you a dedicated plan to follow, which will likely include a combination of the above exercises. This is important, as each individual will require a unique set of exercises based on the cause of their pain. A certified PT will also provide guidance on how to properly perform the exercises to avoid any further injury.

They will be able to help you monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan as you go. This is important, as occipital neuralgia can be a recurrent condition. Seeing a PT on a regular basis can help prevent the pain from coming back and keep you feeling your best.

If you are experiencing chronic headaches or pain in the back of your head and neck, see a certified physical therapist. A PT can perform a full assessment to find the root cause of your pain and devise a treatment plan to address the underlying issues. Exercises, stretches, manual therapy, and other treatments can help relieve occipital neuralgia pain and prevent it from coming back.

Final Thoughts

Occipital neuralgia is a painful condition that can be caused by a variety of things, including neck injury, muscle strain, and inflammation. There are several exercises and stretches that can help relieve the pain and prevent it from coming back. If the pain is severe or lasts for more than a few days, you should see a doctor rule out any other possible causes.

Certified physical therapists are experts in the treatment of conditions like occipital neuralgia and can provide you with a personalized treatment plan to address your specific needs. If you are experiencing chronic headaches or pain in the back of your head and neck, see a PT get started on the road to recovery.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2022 Ritchie Hughie

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