What to do about the throbbing pain in your neck?

Throbbing Pain in Neck

Feeling throbbing pain in your neck? Do light touches to the neck or head trigger the pain? Does it feel like you have a migraine? Answering yes to these questions could mean you have a condition called occipital neuralgia.

One study of headache clinic patients reveals that over 15% of those surveyed had occipital neuralgia. This condition tends to start out as pain in the neck, and then the pain tends to move toward the top of the head or behind one eye. It occurs when the occipital nerves that run from the neck into the scalp are damaged or inflamed.

Treating the throbbing pain in the neck that occipital neuralgia causes can be done in several ways. There are three treatment options in particular that physical therapists offer that can be effective. 

Three treatment options you should try for throbbing neck pain from occipital neuralgia

Physical therapists are musculoskeletal system experts, which means they understand how the neck interacts with the head. This is important for occipital neuralgia patients who are feeling throbbing pain in the neck. Some treatment options that your physical therapist may recommend include: 

  1. Soft tissue mobilization — This is a type of manual therapy focused on muscles, ligaments, tendons and other neck soft tissue. It involves your physical therapist applying pressure with their hands. The goal is to reduce tension in the targeted soft tissue. In turn, this can decrease the pinching of occipital nerves that’s causing your pain. 
  1. Spinal stabilization training — An unstable spine can lead to many issues, including pinched occipital nerves. Your physical therapist can develop a spinal stabilization training program to fit your needs. Often, this plan will involve doing exercises to strengthen your neck muscles. Such exercises can also help reduce neck tension and pain. 
  1. Functional dry needling — Needles aren’t something most people associate with less pain. Yet a therapy method called functional dry needling can reduce neck pain. It does so by targeting myofascial trigger points. The physical therapist places a monofilament needle into the trigger point, which creates a local twitch response that reduces tension. One study shows that functional dry needling reduced neck pain by 33% immediately after the patient’s session. 

Treat your throbbing neck pain with help from Border Therapy Services

Suffering from throbbing neck pain from occipital neuralgia? Our physical therapists at Border Therapy Services are ready and willing to help you find ways to decrease your pain. Our team offers free screenings that can confirm that occipital neuralgia is the source of your pain. Then, we can build you a personalized therapy plan designed to reduce your pain and prevent its recurrence. 

Is your neck pain too bad to go out? That’s OK! Our physical therapists can help you from home by using our virtual therapy and at-home care services. 

Contact us today for more information about our therapy services for neck pain or to schedule your initial appointment.