One common form of physical therapy for treating occipital neuralgia is massage. Massaging the painful area can hit key spots of the nerve blood and oxygen flow. The increased blood and oxygen flow can help to heal damaged nerves. Another effective form of physical therapy is completing back and neck exercises. These exercises will help to strengthen the muscles in your back and neck and allow for better posture. Poor posture, specifically being hunched over and bending your neck down, can put pressure on your nerves and lead to headaches.
There are many options besides physical therapy for treating occipital neuralgia. Conservative methods include heat, rest, anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxants. Anticonvulsant medications prescribed by your doctor may also help to alleviate pain. Another option involves the use of an occipital nerve block, which helps to deaden the nerve. If conservative methods prove ineffective and your pain is chronic and severe, you may need surgery to relieve the pain.