Occipital neuralgia

The day after WAR launched, six days ago, I injured my neck somehow. The same thing happened to me four years ago, and the doctor and chiropractor said it was occipital neuralgia. Basically, the optical nerve is inflamed or pinched somewhere in the back of my head, at the base of my skull, and the pain radiates from there over the top of my head to right behind my left eye. It’s like a ram’s horn of pain. It’s constant, and I’ve had the headache for six days now.

I’m counting myself lucky that I know what it is this time. Last time it happened, it took a couple months for the doctors to figure it out, and the headache lasted all that time. Anti-inflammatory medication would reduce the symptoms, but as soon as the medication wore off, the pain returned. It wasn’t until the chiropractor was able to convince whatever was pinching the nerve to move back to its proper location that the pain subsided.

I’ve been to the chiropractor twice this week, and I’m going again tomorrow, so hopefully it’ll be clearing up by tomorrow night. Today’s the best I’ve felt since last Friday, but it’s still touch and go.

The pain makes everything difficult, including gaming. I’ve only had two long play sessions in WAR since launch. I knew I was going to have a busy week at work, but the headaches kept me away even more. I gritted through it to do some open RvR with CoW on Tuesday night…ok, a lot of open RvR!…but I haven’t played as much as I’d like.

I’ve got a bit of blogging to catch on, and I’ll try to do that over the next day or two. Hopefully, next week will see me in WAR quite a bit more!

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19 Responses

  1. Online gaming related injuries; You haz dem.

    I haven’t played a MMORPG in over a year (since I quit WoW) and I’m noticing all sorts of physical impacts the launch of WAR has had on my body…

    My eyes are sore after long sessions… and so is my back. Part of this issue comes from me working a desk job all day. Sitting in front of a computer for 7 hours and then running home to play for another 2 takes its toll.

    I’ve been mixing in hikes with the wife and dog and that seems to have helped a bit. Things should also loosen up once I start hockey back up again next week!

  2. hope you feel better soon

  3. Wait, so in 2004 (WoW) you had an ‘injury’, and now in 2008 (WAR) you have the same ‘injury’? Riiight….

    In all seriousness, that sucks. Headaches are my least favorite pain, and bad ones drive me nuts. I’ve had a bruised back muscle the last few days, but I’ll take that over a headache any day, even if it means I can’t sit still in a chair for more than 10 minutes without twitching.

  4. Get better. Sod the game — there are plenty of us altoholics you can hook up with when you’re feeling up to it.

    As Syn said, headaches SUCK. I get migraines now and then, and now and then is more than enough. That occipital neuralgia thing you mention sounds wayyyy too familiar actually, and next time it happens I think I’ll go see my friendly local chiropractor instead of downing painkillers that don’t do much.

    Here’s a trick from my tai chi (and many other things) sensei — watch how you sit at the computer, and posture in general. At the comp, most of us have a tendency to do the turtle thing with our necks, where the chin dips forward and down. It took me a while, but working on tucking it back in (not up, just in) where it belongs, and keeping the head straight, has helped a lot. Sitting straight literally doesn’t hurt either.

  5. Ouch! Hope you’re feeling better soonest.

  6. Thanks everyone. I do think it’s somewhat computer-related, as I have two monitors at work, and swivel my head back and forth too often, instead of moving my entire body to face the other monitor. Lugging around a heavy laptop every day also probably contributes to the problem.

    So, yeah, I hurt myself sitting still. It’s a talent, I guess 🙂

  7. Feel better man, chronic pain is the pits.

  8. Get well soon. Constant pain is something I try my darnest to avoid at almost all costs, and still it finds me occasionally.

    I had this horrible headache myself back when I started playing WoW regularily. I found the remedy myself, though. I swithced my work computer’s mouse to the left side and thus relieved the stress that my shoulder was subjected to.

    Helped and I’m still on the left sided mouse at work.

    Yes, I’m right handed. No, the mouse has left handed buttons.

    And yes, it’s an issue of constant wonder at work.

  9. It’s funny you mention this. I’ve been thinking of my own pains and aches the last few days. My chest hurts because I’m not keeping my posture well. My lower back and tail bone absolutely KILL after a few hours of gaming. I’ve been taking breaks and doing some of that Tie She stuff that Ysh was talking about. Also I do some basic exercises – push ups, sit ups, lunges…stuff like that. The aches and pains suck, though. Sorry to hear your troubles, though. That’s some pretty serious stuff. Hope the chiro helps you out.

  10. Ouch. Hope you’re feeling better now?

  11. Feel better soon. I understand feeling anxious about falling behind but I think this is an alt inducing game so dont worry.

  12. Ouch, take care of yourself.

  13. That sucks. Hope you feel better man.

  14. I know the feeling. I’ve had a shoulder injury for the last 7 months and working the keyboard at times can effect it a lot, but no where near the pain I’m sure you are having. Course, I’m on good pain drugs too. lol

    You take it easy and I hope the neck cracking doc works out the kinks so your feeling better.

  15. Any news? Hope you have had some relief.

  16. Sorry to hear it. I hope you feel better soon.

    My brother and I get migraines. Most of mine are just momentary jolts of pain sharp enough to make me stop whatever I’m doing. Thankfully, I haven’t had one in a while. But my brother had one that made him completely blind for over 24 hours. That would scare the hell out of me. Anyway, your mention of pressure on the optic nerve reminded me of that.

  17. ow get better
    i have really bad headaches and people that don’t get them have no idea how it just knocks you out and you can’t do anything at all without doping yourself up so much that you also can’t be effective at work /whatever.

  18. Rick,

    I wanted to thank you because i have had these same symptoms for a few years and there hasnt been any doctors/chiro able to diagnose this.

    When the neck pain and head ache start I cant even think the pain gets so bad.

    Thanks Rick!

  19. Thanks for the good wishes, everyone. It took a couple weeks, but the severe pain has finally faded, and it’s down to a dull ache and getting better.

    Daniel, I hope you can get some relief!

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