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IHS Diagnosis ICD-10
13.8 Occipital neuralgia [G52.80] G44.847  


Occipital neuralgia is a paroxysmal jabbing pain in the distribution of the greater or lesser occipital nerves or of the third occipital nerve, sometimes accompanied by diminished sensation or dysaesthesia in the affected area. It is commonly associated with tenderness over the nerve concerned.

Diagnostic criteria:

  1. Paroxysmal stabbing pain, with or without persistent aching between paroxysms, in the distribution(s) of the greater, lesser and/or third occipital nerves
  2. Tenderness over the affected nerve
  3. Pain is eased temporarily by local anaesthetic block of the nerve


Occipital neuralgia must be distinguished from occipital referral of pain from the atlantoaxial or upper zygapophyseal joints or from tender trigger points in neck muscles or their insertions.