Among all types of headaches, occipital headaches and muscle tension headaches occur in 80% of cases. Their occurrence is due to various pain syndromes developing in one or another muscle of the head and neck. Such headaches are manifested by the tension of the muscles of the shoulder girdle, head, neck, with the presence of pain points in these muscles.
There are sensations of external tightening around the head (“helmet”, “hat”, “helmet”, “hoop” on the head), tension and soreness of the scalp muscles. You may feel pain when combing your hair. In addition, there is a limitation of mobility in the cervical spine due to painful muscular spasm (neck as it were in the “corset”). The headache can be paroxysmal or chronic, blunt or aching, more often starts in the morning, decreases slightly by the middle of the day, but it intensifies by the evening.
Headaches are localized in the suboccipital region and in most cases have a constant and dull character (stretching of the cranial arteries causes burning and drawing pain). In some cases, pain can intensify to acute, piercing and piercing, as with cervical “lumbago”.
In these cases, with severe pain, nausea, vomiting, blanching or reddening of the face, sweating, dizziness, unstable walking, sometimes ovulation and ringing in the ears may occur. Sub-occlusive headaches can be triggered from the intervertebral discs of the cervical spine (Figure 1a), from the suboccipital muscles (Figure 1b), from the trapezius muscle or from the muscle that lifts the scapula (Figure 1c).
Headaches of muscular tension in the suboccipital area can be associated with the tonic stress of the lower oblique muscle of the head. Located between the lower oblique muscle of the head and the back of the large straight muscle of the head, the large occipital nerve loop covers the lower oblique muscle of the head and extends under the skin into the suboccipital region, broadening the innervating skin of the scalp to the seam separating the occipital bone from the parietal.
Hypersensitivity or numbness, shooting or breaking pains in this area first appear at night or after a dream, usually disappear after 20-40 minutes. Later they appear in the daytime, intensify when the head turns to a healthy side and neck extension. In some cases, pulsating and burning headaches join. Almost always you can find a sore point in the place of exit under the skin of the large occipital nerve.