I did a ton of research and found some great information trying to end my pain. I have tried everything, and I found what works and what doesn’t. I have put everything that works here in one place for you to benefit from. I am very excited about the following article because it has helped me.
Occipital Neuralgia: Headache and Pain at the Base of your Skull
by Don Sims 2/20/2016
Occipital Neuralgia is a pain at the base of your skull and terrible headaches. I as I write now I feel an immense grief because day after day I can’t spend the good quality of time that me and my family needs. I am completely consumed by these terrible headaches. When I have them the world stops. Even typing this now increases the pain and misery. Many nights I lay in bed sad because another day that I could have spent making happy memories with my family is gone. I have a couple more products to try, and if I experience relief from them I will be back.
2/23/2016 Ok I’m back and I am excited to tell about my experience with the two things I ordered to help with my headaches. But, I have to start by explaining my headaches. When I get a headache it hurts at the base of my skull at the point where my skull meets the top of my neck. The pain starts there, and extends over the top of my head. It hurts on the top of my head, around my eyes. When I get a headache it hurts for at least 24 hours.
What I ordered was doTERRA’s Deep Blue Essential Oil and a Therapress’s Trigger Point massage tool. When I received them I was experiencing a headache, and was very happy to hear UPS knock on my door. I immediately dug out the essential oil, and some olive oil. I had watched a Youtube video that told me that it was recommended to mix the essential oil with a carrier like olive oil. I put a drop of each in the palm of my hand, and rubbed the mixture on the back of my neck. What I felt was a cooling sensation from what I guess is the mint in the oil, and I have to say it did provide some relief. It did not totally get rid of my headache at that time but did make it feel better. Over the next couple of hours I continued to apply the essential oil to different spots on my head. I put some on the spot right behind my ear that is kind of round where my skull and my neck meet. I also put a little on my forehead. I basically put it anywhere I felt pain. I do have to say it is not a good idea to put it beside or below your eyes because it burns a little. It did feel good on my temples. At first it just provided relief, but I also noticed that my headache was slowly fading.
The other thing I ordered was a Trigger Point Tool. It has a long arm with a ball at the end that was really good about getting to those small spots around the base of my skull. What I did was locate a spot that hurt, and applied pressure with the tool. I held pressure on it until the spot stopped hurting, and noticed that my head had quit hurting. Unfortunately it came back in about five minutes. I moved around to different spots, and did the same. I would go back to previous spots and reapply pressure, and over time the relief would last longer and longer. I did this for about an hour total, and guess what. No more headache! Remember what I said earlier that my headaches always last about 24 hours. This headache lasted about an hour and a half using the combination of both the oil and the trigger point tool! For once in my life I am looking forward to my next headache so I can try again. When I do get my next headache I will come back, and tell you how it goes!
Other Essential Oils for Headaches
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus radiata Essential Oils contain a significant quantity of the oxide 1,8-Cineole. 1,8-Cineole is said to act as both an anti-inflammatory as well as an expectorant. Eucalyptus Essential Oil is said to help ease headaches, most especially those associated with sinus headaches.
Helichrysum Essential Oil
Helichrysum Essential Oil is considered by many in the aromatherapy community to be an especially powerful anti-inflammatory.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender Essential Oil has a high percentage of esters (linalyl acetate), and therefore, offers anti-inflammatory and sedative properties. Lavender Oil is a good oil to use if you are trying to alleviate a headache during the evening/nighttime hours.
Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
Like Lavender, Roman Chamomile Essential Oil has a high percentage of esters (isobutyl angelate), and therefore, offers anti-inflammatory and sedative properties. Roman Chamomile Essential Oil is also a good oil to use if you are trying to alleviate a headache during the evening/nighttime hours.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint Essential Oil contains a significant amount of menthol. Amongst its many uses, menthol is known to help relax and ease tension headaches and muscular aches and pains. Peppermint Oil is quite stimulating and may interfere with sleeping.
Spearmint Essential Oil
Although Peppermint Oil is typically the most recommended of the mints to use with headaches and contains significantly more menthol, I personally prefer the aroma Spearmint Oil. I often substitute Spearmint Essential Oil for some or all Peppermint Essential Oil in a blend.
What is Trigger Point Therapy?
A trigger point is a tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. A trigger point in the back, for example, may produce referral pain in the neck. The neck, now acting as a satellite trigger point, may then cause pain in the head. The pain may be sharp and intense or a dull ache.
Trigger point massage therapy is specifically designed to alleviate the source of the pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release. In this type of massage for trigger point therapy, the recipient actively participates through deep breathing as well as identifying the exact location and intensity of the discomfort.
The results and benefits of trigger point massage are releasing constricted areas in the muscles thus alleviating pain. You can experience a significant decrease in pain after just one treatment. Receiving massage with trigger point therapy on a regular basis can help naturally manage pain and stress from chronic injuries.
(Just a little bit of technical information) There are things that can be done to relieve pain at the back and top of the head. Many patients who have pain in those areas have secondary occipital nerve impingement from tension in the muscles and connective tissue around the base of the skull and in the neck. Muscles that primarily cause this pattern are:
- Semispinalis capitis
- Splenius cervicis/capitis
If these muscles and the surrounding connective tissue (including the scalp) are tense enough to entrap and irritate (pinch) the occipital nerve, it can result in aching or stabbing pain from the muscles, and also shooting, burning pain and/or numbness and tingling from the entrapped nerve in the back and top of the head, occasionally over to the forehead and eyes.
Occipital Neuralgia Symptoms:
- Pressure in my head and neck
- Headache in back of head
- Ice pick headaches
- Neck pain
- Muscle spasms
- Feeling spaced out
- Constant dull headaches
- Arthritis type pain
- Radiating brain pressure
- Memory loss
- Feel mentally slow and slow thinking (foggy head)
- Blurry vision vertigo
- Feels like a tight band around your head
The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.
Ice Pick Headaches
These startling, sometimes frightening head pains have been described in various ways:
In the beginning, when I began having migraines, I suffered a sudden slash of pain, very intense and quick on the right side of my head. It started at one point and webbed out to what it felt like a inch in length. I had never felt this type of pain and it scared me.
They are intense, sharp, stabbing pain about your skull, as if you were being stabbed with an ice pick.
I was just wondering if anyone gets sudden pains in their heads. It can be in the front sometimes, or sometimes it’s in my temple. It really varies.
I was awakened at 3 a.m. by excruciating, stabbing pains on the top right front of my head, kind of behind the eye. lasted about 30 seconds.
I get those types of stabbing pains too, I have no clue as to what is causing it. I get them all over my head. They can last for a few seconds to a few minutes. I started noticing them after my migraines started to get to where they were coming about 3-4 days a week
In addition, I have these very sudden sharp pains in my head on a daily basis. It feels as if I’m being stabbed in the head.
What are they? They’re “ice pick headaches.” They are short, stabbing, extremely intense headaches that can be absolutely terrifying. They generally only last between five and 30 seconds. However, they come out of nowhere, can strike anywhere on the head, literally feel as if an ice pick is being stuck into your head, then disappear before you can even figure out what’s happening. The pain can also seem to occur in or behind the ear.
Turbinate Hypertrophy, What is it?
Turbinate hypertrophy is a medical condition that occurs when one or more of the nasal turbinates become enlarged, which can lead to obstruction of the nasal airways and breathing difficulties. Also referred to as nasal concha, the turbinates are paired structures formed by two spongy curled bones that sit within the nasal passages. The turbinates are classified into three pairs, referred to as the inferior, middle, and superior turbinates, and are divided on either side of the face by the nasal septum.
Causes and Symptoms of Turbinate Hypertrophy
Turbinates are covered by a mucous membrane that contains many blood vessels, which can shrink and swell in response to a variety of factors. The turbinates support healthy nasal function by humidifying, warming, and filtering air as it is inhaled through the nose. When this is disrupted, breathing problems can occur. Factors that may contribute to enlarged turbinates include: Environmental irritants, Chronic sinusitis, Indoor and outdoor allergies, Hormonal changes, and
Pregnancy, and can cause “Empty Nose Syndrome”.
Another primary cause of turbinate hypertrophy is nasal septum deviation. In some cases, a deviated septum can result in compensatory turbinate hypertrophy. When one of the turbinate pairs cannot function properly due to nasal disruption, the other tries to compensate. This can result in a severely blocked nose – where one side of the nose is blocked because of a deviated septum, while the other is obstructed due to an enlarged turbinate.
Symptoms of turbinate hypertrophy include: Chronic nasal congestion, Difficulty breathing through the nose, Sensation of swelling or blockage in the nose
Snoring, Sleep apnea, and Dry mouth.
Could It Be A Tension Headache?
The pain at base of skull sinus may not be sinus at all. If you have followed my advice on how to get rid of a sinus headache, and it didn’t help, chances are that you have a tension headache or nerve pain in your head. On this page I will tell you how to get rid of your headache in back of head. Link to that page
Awesome Massage tool for Tension Headaches and Trigger Point Therapy! Introducing the The Original Knobble II!
Trapezius Muscle Spasms
It’s quite common to have muscle spasms in the area of the trapezius muscle, due to a sedentary lifestyle that results in many hours in front of the computer. Different conditions include, cervical osteoarthritis, injuries, cervical hernias or static imbalances in the cervical column (scoliosis, hyperlordosis, kyphosis) that suddenly cause immense pain in the trapezius muscle. Below, we’ll give you some advice on how to deal with trapezius muscle spasms with natural remedies and medication.
How to Stop Pain and Muscle Spasms in the Trapezius Muscles
I have very painful spasms in this area, and I have been prescribed muscle relaxers and pain killers. I do not want to take these so I have had to find other ways to stop the pain. Most things I have tried hoonestly do nnot work. I have tried a tens unit to stop my muscle spasms, and I have tried ultrasound. Of the two the ultrasound
made the biggest difference. Something else that really helps is heat and cold. I use a heat pack
for muscle spasms, and a cold pack
for pain. I alternate and it makes me feel a whole lot better.
Ultrasound is good for muscle spasms and cramps
Ultrasound is a therapeutic modality that has been used by physical therapists since the 1940s. Ultrasound is applied using a round-headed wand or probe that is put in direct contact with the patient’s skin. Ultrasound gel is used on all surfaces of the head in order to reduce friction and assist in the transmission of the ultrasonic waves. Therapeutic ultrasound is in the frequency range of about 0.8-3.0 MHz.
The waves are generated by a piezoelectric effect caused by the vibration of crystals within the head of the wand/probe. The sound waves that pass through the skin cause a vibration of the local tissues. This vibration or cavitation can cause a deep heating locally though usually no sensation of heat will be felt by the patient. In situations where a heating effect is not desirable, such as a fresh injury with acute inflammation, the ultrasound can be pulsed rather than continuously transmitted.
Ultrasound can produce many effects other than just the potential heating effect. It has been shown to cause increases in tissue relaxation, local blood flow, and scar tissue breakdown. The effect of the increase in local blood flow can be used to help reduce local swelling and chronic inflammation, and, according to some studies, promote bone fracture healing. The intensity or power density of the ultrasound can be adjusted depending on the desired effect. A greater power density (measured in watt/cm2 is often used in cases where scar tissue breakdown is the goal.
Some conditions treated with ultrasound include tendonitis (or tendinitis if you prefer), non-acute joint swelling, muscle spasm, and even Peyronie’s Disease (to break down the scar tissue). Do not apply ultrasound around a local malignancy, metal implants below the area being treated, local acute infection, vascular abnormalities, and directly on the abdomen of pregnant women. Do not apply ultrasound directly over active epiphyseal regions (growth plates) in children, over the spinal cord in the area of a laminectomy, or over the eyes, skull, or testes.
Other Headache Causes
How to relieve sinus pressure
Does you ear feel clogged. This pain refers to a blockage in the ear canal. Symptoms of a clogged ear include reduced hearing capacity, a popping sensation in your ear, a windy sound inside the ear, and a feeling of having mucus or liquid within the ear. You can get a clogged ear when the Eustachian tube does not open and close properly to regulate and equalize the pressure between the middle ear and the pressure in the atmosphere outside the ear.
Pressure at base of skull
Excessive Muscle Tension, Upper Neck Dysfunction, and Disease processes can cause headaches at the base of your neck.
The Sugar Headache
The sugar headache can strike at any time we overdose on sugar. While most of us have experienced a sugar headache at some time in our lives it is not really accepted in medical circles. A sugar headache is similar to a hangover from alcohol. Too much alcohol, just like too much sugar, affects your kidneys, liver, stomach and small intestines, which explains some of what is happening in your body. Dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, gastrointestinal disturbances and disruption of sleep are some of the results.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Headaches
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has a long history in realm of natural remedies. It’s been used to relieve everything from scurvy to hay fever, and just about any other ailment that falls in between especially a classic migraine. Some modern day studies have proven its effectiveness in treating certain illnesses, but most of its clout lies in the reports of people throughout the centuries who have benefited from it. If you find yourself coming down with a throbbing headache, try getting some quality ACV time into your day in the form of a steam-style treatment.
You will need…
>-1/4 cup of ACV
-Roughly 3 cups of boiling water
-1 cup of fresh cool water
Pour ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar into a large bowl, and then fill the bowl halfway with boiling water. Place a towel over your head so that it drapes over the bowl, trapping the steam, and hold your face over it. Make sure your face isn’t so close that it gets burned by the steam. Do this for 5-10 minutes, or when the water starts to cool down, breathing in and out deeply the whole time. When you’re done, use the towel to pat your face dry, and go drink a glass of cool water.
Stretch and Relax
Our lives are fast paced, busy, and filled with more than a little stress. Our overworked minds and bodies react to this by tensing and knotting up muscles, usually in the upper back, neck, and shoulders. Thanks to a little something called referred pain-pain felt in an area other than where the actual painful stimulus is-we end up with tension-type headaches. To help head these buggers off, try some of the following tips.
Do yoga: Yoga will get your mind focused, stretch out your muscles, and get you moving in ways that can help you drop the tension-and if you drop the tension, you can drop the tension-headache. Just doing a few moves when the pain starts up can help, but the best thing to do is a set aside a few minutes each day to practice regularly and prevent headaches before they happen.
Breathe: You may think your breathing alright, but if your head is pounding you’re likely not getting the most out of the oxygen you take in. In general we take breaths that are too shallow, and when we are experiencing pain or stress, we definitely breathe to shallow. Make a conscious effort to take deep, full, breaths that start in your diaphragm and fill up your lungs. This will get your plenty of fresh oxygen circulating through your blood and will also help relax your mind and body.
Drop your shoulders: This is one I remind myself to do about 5 times a day. Make yourself aware of how you carry your shoulders. When you think of it, tell yourself to drop them down. You’d be surprised at how often we carry them hunched up too high, resulting in soreness and, of course, headaches.
Exercise is the best cure for a headache I have found
An aching head does not inspire one to get active, but getting up and moving-outside in fresh air if possible- can help loosen up tight muscles causing a headache. It also gives you something to focus on to take your mind off the pain. Good exercise also releases endorphins, which can dull the uncomfortable sensation caused by a headache. To get the most out of your activity, keep in mind the following tips.
Stay regular: Exercising only when you feel like it is less likely to prevent headaches then exercising on a regular basis. Routine also gives your body just that-routine. Routine helps us function, at least physically, better than we might if we didn’t have any.
Warm up and cool down: Take your time getting yourself warmed up and properly cooled down. Jumping into strenuous activities and then abruptly stopping is more likely to cause a headache then stop it.
Enjoy the outdoors: If possible, exercise outside. The invigorating fresh air and change in scenery does something that just makes our bodies and minds feel good.
Possible Root Cause of your Headaches
Improving your posture can make all the difference in the world when it comes to tension-type headaches. Many of us spend our days working in an office or sitting down at a computer with little to no movement, and many of us are guilty of poor posture. We slouch, slump, and hunch forward, which strains our muscles and creates nasty headaches. Try using an ergonomic chair if you’re sitting down a lot, and make a conscious effort to sit up tall but relaxed, with your shoulders back, your chest open, and your neck not sticking too far forward. Working on strengthening core muscles helps a lot with posture, since balance and the strength to support ourselves properly comes from mostly from our center.
Cayenne Pepper Headache Relief
Utilizing something spicy may not sound headache helpful, but cayenne is somewhat revered in the kingdom of natural remedies to treat pain and inflammation. The secret behind its success lies in an ingredient called capsaicin, which inhibits something in our body that is one of the main elements in pain perception called Substance P. In short, Substance P is part of what makes us feel pain, and the capsaicin depletes it. Numerous studies, the first in 1998 in The Clinical Journal of Pain, support that when applied topically to the nasal passages; people experience a significant decrease in the severity of their headaches, all thanks to capsaicin.
You will need…
-1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
-4 ounces of warm water
Dilute a ½ teaspoon of cayenne powder in 4 ounces of warm water. Soak a cotton swab in the solution and stir it around to make sure it’s covered-the powder can sometimes sink to the bottom. Apply the moist swab gently to the inside of each nostril until you can feel the heat. It may be a bit unpleasant at first, but take the burning sensation as a sign that it’s working. When it subsides, your headache will hopefully be wiped out, or at the very least better than before.
Fish Oil has been found to improve headaches
There are some small-scale studies that show the ingestion of fish oil can help reduce migraines and head pain, thanks to its omega-3 fatty acids, which promotes heart health. The American Heart Association states that the ingredients in fish oil may help reduce inflammation, blood clotting, lower blood pressure, and steady heart rhythm. Those actions in turn may help reduce head pain because it may reduce the inflammation of blood cells that press and pinch on nerves.
You will need…
-1 tablespoon of fish oil OR fish oil oral supplements
-1 glass of orange juice
If you are taking fish oil capsules, follow the dosing on the bottle. If using the actual oil, mix a tablespoon into a glass of cold orange juice and drink up! It’s really not as bad as it sounds.
pulsing headache on top of head
Occipital Nerve Block
Ice Pick Headaches
Pressure Points for Headaches
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This information can also be found on This page with Headache and Neck Pain Info