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  • Writer's pictureGregory Curylo

Occipital neuralgia and MLT

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

Today, I will write about my experience of treating occipital neuralgia with medicinal leeches.

What is Occipital neuralgia (ON)?

occipital neuralgia treatment

Briefly, it is injury or inflammation of the occipital nerve - mainly the greater occipital nerve, and an upper cord. It is caused mainly by car accidents, upper cervical spondylosis and poor posture. Symptoms associated with ON are dizziness, lancinating headaches starting from occiput and radiation towards the forehead, neck, or even dental pain. The greater occipital nerve originates from the C2 nerve root in the upper neck.



The patient was 49 years old, female, suffering from occipital neuralgia for about 2 years, as post-complication of cervical intervertebral disc surgery (C5-C6). Her main symptoms were: dizziness, pain on the left side starting from the occiput and radiating towards the forehead.


Treatment 1.

On the first treatment patient presented on the left side starting from the occiput and radiating towards the forehead. Ten minutes after application of 3 leeches patient noticed a reduction of pain approx 50% and improvement of eyesight.

occipital neuralgia treatment


Treatment 2.

On the second treatment, the patient reported significant pain reduction by 90%. Dizziness still remained. The patient returned to normal life a could do most of the housework.


Treatment 3.

The third treatment reported a 100% reduction in neck and head. However, the patient felt some aches in the left shoulder. Before application patient received manual work.



To summarize, medicinal leech therapy can be an effective treatment for occipital neuralgia and post-surgery chronic pain and complications. Leeches enzymes reducing significantly inflammation and pain neuromodulation reduces pain. However, treatment must be based on a very good diagnosis and should be combined with form manual therapy and rehabilitation to prevent and speed up recovery. Please remember leeches can't fix bad posture or body misalignments often accompanied by this type of dysfunction.

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