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March 3, 2021

Throbbing Pain in Neck


What causes throbbing pain in the neck?


The answer can be rather terrifying. In some rare cases, throbbing neck pain is the only symptom of a torn artery. However, most people who experience this type of pain are dealing with a condition called occipital neuralgia. 


Occipital Neuralgia


Occipital Neuralgia is a condition in which the occipital nerves, the nerves that run through the scalp, are injured or inflamed. This causes headaches that feel like severe piercing, throbbing or shock-like pain in the upper neck, back of the head or behind the ears.

A physical therapist can help you learn why and how occipital neuralgia can cause your neck pain. 

Often, people develop this condition as a result of poor posture. A blow to the head or neck can also lead to this nerve issue, and tense neck muscles can cause it as well. Besides pain, occipital neuralgia can also lead to symptoms like: 

  • Pain that starts at the base of your skull and moves into the scalp. 

  • Sensitivity to light.

  • Scalp being sensitive to the touch.

  • Increased pain when you move your neck. 


How can physical therapists reduce the throbbing pain in your neck?



Physical therapists have many techniques that can help reduce the symptoms of occipital neuralgia. Some of the techniques your physical therapist could use to help you include:

  • Active Release Techniques® that can reduce tension in neck muscles.

  • Graston Technique® intended to break down scar tissue restricting your neck.

  • At-home care sessions in which your physical therapist works with you one-on-one in your home.

  • Therapeutic exercises to strengthen and stretch the neck muscles.

  • Virtal therapy sessions where your physical therapist meets with you over a secure online video feed.

  • Spinal rehab to realign the vertebrae, muscles and other structures in your neck.


Get Connect Health Plus Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Center for help with your neck pain


Fed up with the throbbing pain in your neck from occipital neuralgia? Our Health Plus Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Center team is ready and willing to help you find effective care for your pain.

We will start by performing a free screening to confirm the cause of your pain. Then, our physical therapists will create a one-on-one personalized therapy plan for you that’s designed to reduce your pain and prevent it from coming back. 

Contact Health Plus PT today for more information about our neck pain treatment services or to schedule an initial appointment.

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