How does occipital nerve stimulation work?

Published by Charlie Davidson on

How does occipital nerve stimulation work?

The occipital nerve originates at the base of the neck. In occipital nerve stimulation, your doctor implants a small device at the base of the skull with leads connected to a power source (pulse generator) that sends electrical impulses to the occipital nerve.

What are the side effects of a nerve stimulator?

Some of the side effects and health problems associated with implanted vagus nerve stimulation can include:

  • Voice changes.
  • Hoarseness.
  • Throat pain.
  • Cough.
  • Headaches.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Tingling or prickling of the skin.

How can I strengthen my occipital nerve?

Face forward, tuck your chin down, and pull your head back until it meets the wall. Try to bring your head back in a straight line without tilting it back or nodding forward. Hold the stretch for 5 seconds before resting, and repeat 10 times. If this exercise increases pain or discomfort, stop immediately.

What is an ONS implant?

Occipital Nerve Stimulation (ONS) ONS uses a medical device system which is implanted in the back of your head, under your skin. The system sends mild electrical impulses through a lead which is implanted in the back of your head, near to the branches of the nerves.

Why does my occipital nerve hurt?

What causes occipital neuralgia? Occipital neuralgia may occur spontaneously, or as the result of a pinched nerve root in the neck (from arthritis, for example), or because of prior injury or surgery to the scalp or skull. Sometimes “tight” muscles at the back of the head can entrap the nerves.

What can I expect after a spinal cord stimulator implant post op?

Following your surgery, you will likely feel some discomfort at the incision sites for several days. This incisional pain feels like a bruise. If you notice any swelling, pain, or redness near your incision, notify your doctor. Once your incision has healed, the neurostimulator site requires no special care.

How long is recovery after spinal cord stimulator surgery?

Expect to engage only in light activity for at least two weeks after your surgery. Most patients are healed completely by four weeks post-surgery, but it can take up to 12 weeks.

What is the best pain relief for occipital neuralgia?

Finding occipital neuralgia pain relief

  • Apply ice/heat therapy. Ice therapy may reduce local inflammation and relieve pain.
  • Take NSAIDs. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) are over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (e.g., Aleve).
  • Give yourself a neck massage.

Where does occipital neuralgia hurt?

Occipital neuralgia is a distinct type of headache characterized by piercing, throbbing, or electric-shock-like chronic pain in the upper neck, back of the head, and behind the ears, usually on one side of the head. Typically, the pain of occipital neuralgia begins in the neck and then spreads upwards.

What does surgery for occipital neuralgia include?

What does surgery for occipital neuralgia include? An operation is rare, but it might be an option if your pain doesn’t get better with other treatments or comes back. Surgery may include: Microvascular decompression. Your doctor may be able to relieve pain by finding and adjusting blood vessels that may be compressing your nerve.

What is occipital pain?

Occipital neuralgia is a form of headache that causes pain along the upper neck and back of the head. The pain is in the distribution of the nerves known as occipital nerves (sensory nerves that run from the upper part of the neck to the back of the head). The pain can be throbbing, aching, burning,…

What is Occipital migraine?

Occipital headache is a type of headache that occurs in the back of the head, specifically at the base of the skull. It may be the cause of your headaches and neck pain. If you have a history of migraine, sometimes a headache in this area will provoke a migraine.

What is the vagus nerve stimulator?

The vagus nerve stimulator is a battery-powered device that is surgically implanted under the skin of the chest, much like a pacemaker, and is attached to the vagus nerve in the lower neck. This device delivers short bursts of electrical energy to the brain via the vagus nerve.

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