La Arnold's neuralgia is pain of nerve origin, caused by compression of the arnold's nerve. This condition can be very painful and debilitating, making it difficult to carry out your daily activities.
It is therefore important to seek medical help if you think you are suffering from it. In this article, we take a look at the different specialists who can treat this condition.
Cervical Spine Anatomy
La cervical spine consists of the first seven bones of the spine, which extend from the base of the brain to the top of the thoracic spine. Each of the first two vertebrae has a unique form and function.
The atlas (C1) is the vertebrate which forms the connection between the skull and the spine. Its primary function is to act as a pivot point for the head. The atlas is a small, ring-shaped bone with a large opening in the center.
The atlas is connected to the second vertebra, called the axis (C2), by a pair of joints called the atlantoaxial joints. These joints allow the head to turn from side to side. The axis (C2) is the second cervical vertebra and is located directly below the atlas.
The axis has a long, cylindrical bone that projects upward from its center. This bone, called the odontoid process, serves as the pivot point of the atlas. The third through seventh cervical vertebrae are very similar in structure and are numbered C3 through C7.
These bones get smaller and smaller as they get closer to the thoracic spine. Each of these vertebrae has a small body and a pair of pedicles. The pedicles extend laterally from the body and are connected to the lamellae.
Arnold's neuralgia, what is it?
La Arnold's neuralgia, also known as occipital neuralgia, is a peripheral neuropathy of the neck and head characterized by "unilateral paroxysmal headaches of cervical origin", caused by "irritation or compression of the posterior major occipital nerve and/or of the minor occipital nerve.
Classically, the pain of Arnold's neuralgia may be limited to the size of a palm, either across the occiput or, in unilateral pain, one hand positioned longitudinal to the occiput. Radiations of pain to the forehead or temples are also possible in the case of Arnold's neuralgia.
In the Arnold's neuralgia, the pressure on this nerve is exerted by tense muscles in the region of the triangle of the neck or occiput. Due to a deformation of the atlas, muscle tension is often observed. Those affected describe the sensation they feel, as if they had a “lump in the back of the neck”.
Arnold's Neuralgia Symptoms
The most common symptom of Arnold's neuralgia is severe pain in the neck and head, often described as a 'stabbing' or 'electric shock' feeling The pain is usually on one side of the head only, although it can sometimes be felt on both sides. Other symptoms include:
- Sharp pain that may radiate to the forehead, ears, temples and lower jaw;
- Dizziness and nausea;
- Discomfort when touching the affected area;
- Pain that usually gets worse with certain head movements, such as lean forward or on the side;
- Discoloration of the skin at the site of inflammation;
- Headaches that get worse over time.
Causes of Arnold's Neuralgia
There are many potential causes of Arnold's neuralgia, but the most common is neck muscle tension. It can be caused by poor posture, repetitive movements, or holding your head in an awkward position for long periods of time. Other potential causes include:
- Degeneration of the cervical spine;
- Spinal injuries;
- Infectious diseases such as throat infections, flu, etc;
- Tumors in the region of the occipital foramen;
- Cervical arthritis or osteochondrosis;
- Cervical lymphadenitis;
- Nerve compression due to herniated disc or bone spurs.
List of specialists involved in the treatment of Arnold's neuralgia
If you think you are suffering from Arnold's neuralgia, it is important to consult a doctor so that he can make a correct diagnosis. There are many different specialists who can treat this condition, depending on the underlying cause.
1. General practitioner
Your GP will probably be the first person you see if you think you have a Arnold's neuralgia. He will ask you about your symptoms and medical history and may order tests to rule out other potential causes of your pain. If your GP thinks you have Arnold's neuralgia, he may refer you to a specialist for further evaluation.
A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in disorders of the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and nerves. He will be able to confirm the diagnosis of Arnold's neuralgia and rule out other potential causes of your pain.
3. Doctor specializing in chronic pain
If you suffer from chronic pain, you may be referred to a pain specialist. This type of doctor can help you manage your pain and can recommend treatments such as physical therapy, injections, or medication.
4. Physiotherapist (physiotherapist)
Un physiotherapist (physiotherapist) is a medical professional who specializes in physical therapy. It can help you stretch and strengthen your neck muscles to relieve tension and pain.
An osteopath is a medical professional who specializes in the treatment of muscle disorders and joint problems. They may use manipulative therapies to relieve tension in the neck and head.
6. Alternative Medicine
There are many types of alternative medicine that can be used to treat Arnold's neuralgia. These include:
- massage therapy;
- Herbal remedies.
It is important to speak with your doctor before starting any type of alternative treatment.
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