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pain

For 2 weeks I have constant occipital headaches that go down to my neck.  It hurts my neck to turn my head, lift either arm before reaching  shoulder height.  It does help to support my head,  it feels as the weight of my head is too much.  scheduled for an open MRI.  next week,    No numbness or tinglinging    Any ideas    
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Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.

It sounds like you are experiencing a lot of discomfort from pain in the occipital area (the area in the back of your head) and your neck. It sounds like you are on the right tract, an MRI has been scheduled, and it is advisable for you to follow-up with the physician who ordered it. Evaluation at a headache center may also be helpful for you.

Given the symptoms you are describing, two diagnoses that come to mind are "cervicogenic headache" and "occipital neuralgia".

Cervicogenic headache is a headache that is "referred" to the head from bony structures, muscles, and other soft tissue in the neck and shoulders. Symptoms are usually one-sided and include: precipitation of head pain by neck movement or awkward neck positions, head pain when external pressure is applied to the neck or occipital region, restricted range of motion of the neck, and neck, shoulder and arm pain. Treatment for cervicogenic headache includes physical therapy, medications, behavioral therapy, and other modalities. It is important that medications are not overused; taking Tylenol and ibuprofen several times a day to treat your headache may lead to what is called 'medication rebound headache", a headache that then starts to become perpetuated by too many medications.\

Occipital neuralgia is caused by irritation or injury to two nerves that run from the upper neck to the back of the head. The irritation could be due to  neck trauma, pinching of the nerves (by muscles or arthritis), and other causes. Symptoms include a piercing sharp pain that travels from the upper neck to the back of the head and behind the ears. It is usually a one sided pain but can be on both sides of the head. Treatment includes physical therapy, medications, and in some cases injections, "nerve blocks", during which a physician injects the irritated nerves with an anesthetic.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, good luck
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Avatar universal
Been having same problem for three to four months. I am so over it. I am getting shots in the back of my head from the pain clinic, that aren't really working for me. I am going to the doctors todya because now I feel llike I am going to faint. I wish you luck....
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