A condition in which the nerves that run from the top of the spinal cord up through the scalp, called the occipital nerves, are inflamed or injured. You might feel pain in the back of your head or the base of your skull.
People can confuse it with a migraine or other types of headache, because the symptoms can be similar.
But treatments for those conditions are very different, so it’s important to see your doctor to get the right diagnosis.
A cluster headache strikes quickly, usually without warning, although you might first have migraine-like nausea and aura.
Common signs and symptoms during a headache include:
Aching, burning, and throbbing pain that typically starts at the base of
the head and goes to the scalp
Pain on one or both sides of the head
Pain behind the eye
Sensitivity to light
Pain when you move your neck
Occipital neuralgia happens when there’s pressure or irritation to your occipital nerves, maybe because of an injury, tight muscles that entrap the nerves, or inflammation. Many times, doctors can’t find a cause for it.
Some medical conditions are linked to it, including:
Trauma to the back of the head
Neck tension or tight neck muscles
Tumors in the neck
Cervical disc disease
Blood vessel inflammation