Occipital Neuralgia Causing Migraines


Vancouver chiropractor Dr. Troy Dreiling shares his suggestions on what you can do for preventing migraines that are being caused by occipital neuralgia.

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Video Transcription

Hey, it’s Dr. Troy here!

I have had patients tell me that they have been diagnosed with occipital neuralgia and have been visiting a chiropractor which has helped them quite a bit, but the migraines are still triggered when they move around too much, run, jump, etc. They want to know if there is anything else they can do to stop this from happening because they would like to be able to exercise again.

The answer is, absolutely there are probably some things you can do. My theory or thought is if you are getting adjusted, is it upper cervical specific or is it more of a non-specific technique, more generalized?

That is one of the first things we have to look at, what type of care is it? Is it orthospinology, NUCCA, grostic, is it upper cervical specific?

The other thing we want to look at is history. Maybe there is some history of trauma. There are ligaments that hold the first bone and the second bone together. They can almost become unstable through an accident, a trauma, an injury to your head. Movement can actually trigger that and trigger migraines, I see it all the time.

There are some stability exercises that you can do. One of the things that we recommend people with this type of thing is, we have them lay on a fulcrum and we have them do fulcrum exercises. This is when they do isometrics, push their head forward, and to each side. There are also rotation exercises we can do.

There is also an alar ligament tear, that is one thing that can continue to stimulate migraines.  The alar ligaments are unstable from side to side so that atlas slops around in there irritating the spinal cord, which affects blood flow and triggers migraines.

The alar ligament stretch is basically where you bring your head over and turn your head into your arm. You’re trying to stretch the alar ligament and strengthen. Those are just some of the specifics. You could probably Google alar exercise and find it more specifically than me answering the question here on this video.

So, absolutely, I definitely think there’s more you can do but you just have to dive in a little bit deeper on what your history has been and what specific chiropractic care you’re getting delivered to you.

Dr. Troy here, on how to exercise again when migraines flare up from moving around.