neck pain

How to loosen Arnold's nerve (is it possible?)

When Arnold's neuralgia, several solutions can be envisaged for ease the pain. Medication, traditional medicine, physiotherapy or osteopathy can be used. The question still arises despite all these approaches: is it possible to unblock arnold's nerve ? We will take stock in this article.

Definition and anatomy

La Arnold's neuralgia is a neurological condition characterized by severe neck pain. It is an inflammation of the occipital nerve, caused by compression of Arnold's nerve or greater occipital nerve. The latter originates at the level of the posterior branch of the 2e cervical nerve root, i.e. between the first and second vertebrae of the neck (C1 and C2).

arnold's nerve anatomy

It is responsible for innervating the deep muscles of the neck and plays 2 main roles: a motor role for the mobility of the neck and a sensory role for the sensation on the scalp. If you want learn more about Arnold's neuralgia, we invite you to click here.

Causes and symptoms of neuralditis

The causes

Arnold's neuralgia can occur spontaneously or provoked. Here are the most common causes.

  • Local muscle contraction, most often of the inferior oblique muscle of the head, which can cause compression and/or irritation on Arnold's nerve.
  • Cervical osteoarthritis, fibrosis or the simple blockage of a vertebrate. Indeed, joint degeneration causes a decrease in movement in the neck, which promotes inflammation between the vertebrae and in the underlying muscles.
  • Trauma in the cervical region following a shock. They can cause irritation or even injury to Arnold's nerve.
  • La syringomyelia, a rare disease of the spinal cord.
  • Stress, by exacerbating muscle tension in the neck, can also contribute to irritation of Arnold's nerve.

How does Arnold's neuralgia manifest?

La Arnold's neuralgia usually manifests as pain. Other symptoms include:

neck pain
  • Severe headaches that may radiate to the eyes;
  • A sharp pain behind the head extending up the skull;
  • Tingling, burning or the sensation of "electric shocks" in the occipital region;
  • Dizziness, in case of very intense pain.

These pains are comparable to discharges that can extend to the forehead, eyebrows, temples, ears, jaw and neck. They are chronic and relatively disabling.

Conservative and invasive treatment

The first person to consult is your attending physician. Depending on the symptoms and the cause of the disease, he can refer the patient to a physiotherapist or an osteopath. a rheumatologist or a neurologist may also be a specialist of choice, because of the painful nature of Arnold's neuralgia.

To answer our original question, it is not possible to loosen Arnold's nerve in the literal sense of the word. Scientifically speaking, we cannot speak of a “pinched nerve”, but rather of an “irritated nerve”. Indeed, Arnold's neuralgia is not serious in itself. However, it can be relatively disabling on a daily basis. Several approaches can be considered to get rid of it. 

The drug approach

In some patients, Arnold's neuralgia resolves spontaneously. In others, it is necessary to treat the cause. To lessen pain attacks, patients can take:

taking medication
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): these are drug treatments that relieve pain by reducing inflammation of the nerve;
  • Analgesics: which will aim to reduce or eliminate the pain;
  • Corticosteroid infiltrations: useful when previous treatments are not enough to cure the pain. They are powerful anti-inflammatories;
  • Infiltrations of anesthesia which can be used in local infiltrations, such as corticosteroids, and potentially in association with them. These infiltration techniques are called mesotherapy. These injections relieve pain and muscle spasms and help reduce tissue inflammation.

physiotherapy and osteopathy

It is true that physiotherapy and osteopathy as such do not fully cure this disease. Nevertheless, they are likely to relieve Arnold's nerve pain and inflammation

cervical massage

The objective will be to release all the tensions exerted on the level of the nerve in question. By doing so, professionals make the pain stop little by little. A rehabilitation of cervical spine may also be necessary in some cases.

Manipulations of the region of the skull, neck and back, by a physiotherapist and osteopath, can help relax the muscles and relieve your pain.

Arnold's nerve stimulation surgery

It is carried out in the neurosurgery services. This technique consists of a posterior approach to the neck, placing a few electrodes within the nerve. These electrodes will create a non-painful sensory impulse that will reduce the pain of this same nerve.


Other treatment options 

other Alternative Medicines May Relieve Arnold's Neuralgia. These are traditional medicine, naturopathy or phytotherapy. They are also recommended if the patient reacts badly to the drugs.


The natural approach

If the symptoms of Arnold's neuralgia are inflammatory in origin, ice is a very good temporary remedy. It should be applied 3 to 4 times a day to the base of the skull on the affected side, for 10 to 15 minutes. Heat may also be beneficial between ice applications to reduce local muscle spasms.

On the other hand, massaging the cervical region with appropriate essential oil will help you relieve pain and tension. For this, massage by pressing with your fingers along the trapezius, from top to bottom. Exercise pressure points, remaining pressed on the most painful points, for 10 seconds. This technique relieves pain effectively.

In addition, homeopathic remedies manage to relieve some patients although there is no scientific evidence to confirm the effectiveness of this method.


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