Does your pain come from muscle or nerve pain?
Release Techniques (ART) are just some examples of therapies that focus on the muscles and which are common components of patients’ past medical histories. The point is that if you’ve unsuccessfully tried to release, lengthen or relax your neck muscles in a number of different ways and still suffer from occipital neuralgia, then perhaps attempting to address another component of the ON symptom complex is also reasonable.
In these same people, I often find that a well-placed nerve block or blocks not only seems to relieve their pain, but several minutes after the block has really set in, they are able to move in ways they have not been able to in years. I use long-acting blocks and then have those same patients leave the office and engage in several provocative maneuvers to try and exacerbate their ON. Many of them find that those typical “triggers” now don’t bother them and they remain relaxed until the blocks wear off. What do these results tell you? Among other things, they suggest that if the nerve, which has been chemically and temporarily “calmed”, can be treated permanently, perhaps the muscles that have relaxed will also benefit secondarily. Moreover, they suggest that other distant muscles in other parts of the body may also benefit as they no longer have to compensate for spastic and ineffective muscles in the neck. The take home message is that just because you can’t figure out which came first, the chicken or the egg, doesn’t mean that you can’t still treat the problem of occipital neuralgia effectively.
For more information, visit www.peledmigrainesurgery.com or call 415-751-0583 for an appointment.