If you are also one of those individuals who feel severe pain in the back, nerves, and head then it can be due to one of the common health conditions called occipital neuralgia. The discomforts due to this issue vary from one person to another which makes finding one solution for all a bit difficult. Not only that but the most problematic effect of occipital neuralgia is that it also disturbs the sleep cycle and turns the individual into a restless as well as irritating personality. So, to help you out in this situation, we are sharing some amazing tips and the best way to sleep with occipital neuralgia. To know about everything more specifically, read the complete article with patience.
What does Occipital Neuralgia mean?
It is basically a health condition in which the occipital nerves affect and make an individual feel pain in the neck, sides of the head, behind the ears, and in nerves of the spine as well. The pain can be felt like someone is constantly stabbing you or giving you electrical shocks, which is unbearable.
Apart from this, a lot of people also witness swelling or irritation in their cervical spinal column as in this condition the greater and lesser occipital nerves merge with each other at that spot only. The worst thing is that sometimes a few people get confused between migraines and occipital neuralgia which leads them to wrong treatment and more pain.
Problems Due to Occipital Neuralgia
There are many problems and effects that an individual who is suffering from occipital neuralgia has to go through. The more specific details of the same are mentioned below for the sake of your better understanding of the complete health condition:
- Severe pain in the neck.
- Constant headache.
- Hitting sensations to the scalp.
- Swelling of the neck.
- Tender scalp.
- Pain in forehead and eyes.
- Pinching and swelling of nerves.
- Stiff neck and zero movements.
Due to all of the above-mentioned conditions, the patient does not get proper sleep, remains irritated, becomes weak, loses focus from work, stays unhappy, and more.
Best Way to Sleep with Occipital Neuralgia
There are two recommended ways or positions that can help you get a peaceful yet complete sleep at night even if you are going through occipital neuralgia. You can try both of them and choose which one is more comfortable for you. Without any delay, let’s take a step closer to the solution!
1. On your back
As per many medical experts, it is said that people who have problems like this should try to sleep on their back as it helps keep their spine in the most neutral, straight, and natural position. Not only that but it also decreases the pressure and pain stressing on the entire neck and head section.
To make this sleeping position work better and as per the expectations, you should use a good cervical pillow that gives support to your neck. Apart from that, you should also keep a rolled towel under your neck for more balance and stability.
2. On your side
To decrease the pain and sleep disturbance due to occipital neuralgia, you can also try sleeping on your side position but make sure that your neck and spine are supported with anything to give the required stability and balance.
For better sleep in this position, you should make the level of the neck and head equal. Apart from this, you should keep a medium-sized pillow between your legs to give further support to your spine and also to reduce the chances of twisting again. Lastly, hugging or holding a body pillow can also help to make this sleeping position work for you.
Note: On your stomach is not the best way to sleep with occipital neuralgia as this will give more tension, pressure, and stress on the spinal cord which will directly worsen the situation of nerves around the head and neck. So, make sure to avoid this position at all costs.
Tips to sleep with occipital neuralgia
After knowing about the best way to sleep with occipital neuralgia, it is very important that we go through some tips and tricks to make nap time more relaxed and painless. So, let’s read them one by one!
- Give cold gel pack compression on your neck for 15 to 20 minutes before going to bed. It will decrease the inflammation and make the blood flow normal in those nerves.
- Try to do stretches or exercises suggested by physical therapists before sleeping to decrease stiffness and increase strength.
- Do massage on triggering points to relieve tension or knots.
- Take a hot shower before heading to bed as this will make your body more relaxed and fresher enough to get better sleep.
- Follow some good changes in your way of living which include the right working posture, lesser intake of caffeine, regular yoga, and so on.
1. What is occipital neuralgia?
It is basically a health condition in which the occipital nerves affect and make an individual feel pain in the neck, sides of the head, behind the ears, and in nerves of the spine as well. Apart from this, a lot of people also witness swelling or irritation in their cervical spinal column as in this condition the greater and lesser occipital nerves merge with each other at that spot only.
2. Which is the best way to sleep with occipital neuralgia?
As per medical experts, you should sleep either on your back or on your side position if you are suffering from occipital neuralgia as these positions can help decrease the sprain or tension on the muscles and nerves of the neck and the head.
3. What are the effects of occipital neuralgia on the body?
The most common problems or effects of occipital neuralgia include severe pain in the neck, constant headache, hitting sensations to the scalp, swelling of the neck, pain in the forehead and eyes, swelling of nerves, and more.
4. What are the tips for the best way to sleep with occipital neuralgia?
Using cold compression, getting a hot shower, taking medicines, making lifestyle changes, doing stretching, and more are a few common tips that you should follow to make your nap more comfortable even if you are suffering from occipital neuralgia.
5. Which is not the best way to sleep with occipital neuralgia?
On your stomach is not the best way to sleep with occipital neuralgia as this will give more tension, pressure, and stress on the spinal cord which will directly worsen the situation of nerves around the head and neck. So, make sure to avoid this position at all costs.
Above we shared a brief guide explaining the best way to sleep with occipital neuralgia which might have helped you in understanding the complete concepts of the same. From definitions and problems to tips and tricks, we shared all the possible details with you so that you get more clarity on this health condition.
Occipital neuralgia is not something to get so much worried and panic about as proper diagnosis and treatment of the same can give you freedom from this in a very short time. Lastly, if you have any other questions related to this topic or want to share something then feel free to connect with us through the comment box. Thank you for reading!
Preeti Jha is a young writer who loves reading, writing, and using words in the crispiest and clearest way possible. She has 3+ years of industry experience and holds a very good command over language and representation of content. She believes in hard work and dedication when it comes to winning any milestone or getting loyal readers. From reporting and anchoring to writing and radio jockeying, she has an interest in various fields of mass communication.