On social media, I’m seeing a lot of panic on multiple group sites in patients who have a normal MRI results in the face of pain symptoms. It is important to remember that many patients with Migraine and most patients with Occipital Neuralgia have NORMAL MRI STUDIES. This should be taken as good news, since you don’t want to find a tumor or vascular malformation that may be life threatening.
I understand that it is frustrating not to be able to pin your symptoms on a specific finding. If your MRI is negative and you have persistent migraines or occipital neuralgia, it can seem like there is nowhere to turn to figure out what next step is going to be productive.
It is just this type of patient, with pain and normal MRI findings, that is most likely to be a candidate for nerve decompression migraine surgery. I would suggest at least seeing if a diagnostic nerve block can help with your pain, by seeing a migraine surgeon. Remember that there are different types of nerve blocks, and you can read more about that here.
But if your MRI study is normal, it’s time to be happy that you don’t have something in your brain that can be fatal, and actually it’s time to get excited that you very well may be a candidate for migraine surgery which has an over 90% success rate in appropriate patients. It seems that now you are likely one of those appropriate patients.
Call a migraine surgeon as your next step in your workup, and see if you can find relief as so many other migraine and occipital neuralgia patients have done.