DRUGS AFFECTING THE OCCIPITAL REGION – remedies having pain or eruptions in the occipital region of head….

(Confirmed symptoms are marked; merely clinical,; (>)means amelioration; (>>)entire relief; (<) signifies aggravation; (<<)marked aggravation.)

Aconite.- Occiput: as if injected; jerking, tearing; shooting. Head drawn backwards.

Useful in congestion; Neuralgia; Convulsions.

Actea Spicata. Hammering pain in occiput; rheumatic patients.

Aesculus Hippocastanum.- Heavy feeling, pressure; bruised feeling with lameness in back of neck; dull pain to ears; lancinating, at base of brain, as if too full. Dull pain, flushes of heat in integument.

Useful in congestion, especially, in persons suffering from Piles, suppressed haemorrhoidal flow; or from the characteristic spinal weakness.

Aethusa Cynapium. Distressing pains in occiput and nape of neck, extending down spine; feels, as if, stretching stiffly backwards would relieve; striking and beating in upper part of right side of occiput. A tearing in right occiput, shoots through the whole head and extends to the right side. Tearing stitches from occiput forwards.

Doubts have been thrown upon the validity of the toxic symptoms of Aethusa. The above, however, are unquestioned and suggest the drug in irritation of the brain and spine. Crampy, constrictive and band-like pains, so common in this drug, shows its spinal action. These symptoms seem to be reflex from gastro-enteric irritation, for nausea, vomiting, tendency to diarrhoea, and a sense of a lump or load in the stomach attend or precede them; while excessive prostration, shrinking and dryness of the skin, peaked face and coldness, show how damaging the drug is to nutrition, and warrant out common use of it in Cholera Infantum, dentition, etc.

It seems that the distress in the occiput and the desire to bend back as in opisthotonos, tally well with the toxical cases, which claim cerebral congestion and effusion, and intestinal inflammation. I should then consider it.

Useful when the occipital pains are accompanied by the gastro- enteric characteristics, or even by convulsions, with colic, green stools, tenesmus, distended abdomen, clenched thumbs, up- turned eye-balls.

Agaricus Muscarius.- Boring, burrowing, pressive, drawing, tension, sense, of heaviness; tearing, stitches; creaking; stiffness.

Useful in Chorea, cerebro-spinal irritation from abuse of Alcohol. It has been given successfully for irritation in back of brain and in spine, with rolling head in pillow.

Ailanthus. Electric thrill from brain to extremities. Darting through temples and back of head, with confusion of ideas. Pain in occiput, dizzy, ringing pain in forehead; left side of face swollen, face erysipelatous; patient heavy, sleepy, nauseated at times. Beating in occipital arteries.

Useful in the course of Scarlatina, Erysipelas and Typhoid States, when occiput, pains, mind is dull and face of a dark, livid or mahogany color.

Alcohol. Sensation of fulness at crown and back of head. Apoplectic congestion, with snoring, usually deleted pupils, suffused, dark face and paralytic trembling and weakness. Muscles of neck and back give out.

Employed more for general cerebral congestions, especially with evidences of organic lesions of brain; but may be useful in the progress of typhoid states, when congestion of brain and spine obtain, with above symptoms. It compares here with; Bellad., Opium, Agaricus, and Particularly ABSINTHIUM.

Allium Cepa.- Headache in occiput, then in right side over eye. Headache on both sides of occiput, afterwards in two large round places in upper posterior part of head; later, a general humming of part as if asleep: seems to be in the bone, rather than in the scalp; also with confusion in the occiput; better in open air, worse in warm room.

Useful in “catarrhal patients,” who suffer from headache if they study or work in a warm room.

Allium sativum. Dull pain in occiput in morning, while lying on back.

Aloes. – Congestion to occiput: sense of dull pressure in whole head when walking, shaking, as if, brain was loose, worse in fresh, cold air, also on lying head down; then and a while after rising, beating, thumbing pain, like pulsating, especially in Occiput. In the occiput and abdomen, beating at night when lying down; stitches when stooping; external soreness.

Useful for passive hyperaemia accompanying or rather depending upon abdominal congestion. Haemorrhoidal and abdominal symptoms must decide, though if the occipital symptoms are accompanied with dull pain over eyes, lids feel heavy and draws eye-lids together for relief, Aloes will remove all. Compare Ailanthus, but particularly Sulphur.

Sometimes the Aloes-headache alternates with pains in the lumbar region.

Alumina.- Pressure on occiput and forehead as from a tight hat. Short-lasting, dull pain in occiput. Headache in occiput. as if bruised; passes off on lying down. Pain in head and nape of neck; increases on going to bed, ceases in the morning or rising.

Ambra Grisea. Pressive drawing from nape through head, and over root of nose, considerable pressure remaining in lower part of occiput. Confusion of occiput. Tearing and pressure up, as far as top and forehead.

Useful in nervous patients, hurried manner, anxious; when conversation unduly fatigues, causing heaviness of head, oppression of chest, tremor and weakness. Limbs go to sleep easily; loss of sensation in feet. Comprehension slow; memory weak; nervous vertigo, especially in old persons.

Ammoniacum. Pains pressive, (<) supra-orbital and occipital regions; confused, intellectual labor interfered with.

Useful for those who are subject to catarrhal Asthma, violent action of the heart, ebullitions of blood; or, for those whose eyes become easily strained when taxed; bright sparks or mists before eyes.

Ammonium Muriaticum. Occiput feels, as if in a vise; later, in sides of head, with excessive ill-humor.

Amyl Nitrate. – Throbbing and fullness of head to bursting, even becomes, unconscious; face livid. Throbbing in occiput; not here distinctive, but only a local manifestation of the general action of the drug upon the blood-vessels.

Anacardium. Constrictive, band-like, headache: feeling, as of a tense band from nape to ears; must lie down.

Dull pressure as from a Plug: Characteristic, is the peculiar pressure. Anacard. is especially called for when when the occipital headache is accompanied by a contractive stiffness of neck, felt at rest and not usually worse from motion, though it may be. (Compare Rhus Rad.) Angustura. Pressure in occiput, afternoon. Drawing at sides of occiput. Tension and drawing in muscles of neck. Drawing in occiput, sides of head, fingers, etc.

The occipital pain is merely a part of the general tension caused by the drug-an action that has led to its use in tetanus, and this, too, since, the discovery that there are two sorts of Angustura; one the Vera; the other, a variety of strychnos Nux Vom.

Antimonium Tartaricum.- Occiput becomes heavy, with an anxious, oppressive sensation. On stooping, sense, as if, something in occiput fell forwards. Raging or throbbing pain on right side of occiput.

Probably useful in chest and stomach affections, when the occipital heaviness indicates a congestive state of the medulla and base of brain, with consequent involvement of the pneumo gastrics. Antimony has an affinity for the base and medulla. Heart symptoms, dyspnoea, drowsiness, nausea one or all will be present.

Apis. Aching, increased by shaking head. Headache with fullness and heaviness in occiput. Pressure. Tension from the back of the neck. Violent drawing from back of neck over left half of head.

The well-known value of Apis in Meningitis, leads us to infer that the above may very readily indicate irritation, congestion, etc. within the cranium.

Argentum Metallicum. Pressing pain in forehead with stupor, and drawing pressure in occiput. Nape of neck feels stiff; there seems to be something foreign in the occiput, a sort of drawing and pressing.

The silver-headache is neurotic, seemingly in the brain substance and outgoing nerves. It reaches its culmination, raging as if a nerve were being torn into, and then suddenly ceases. Sometimes the occipito-frontalis muscle twitches spasmodically. There is also painful tension on both sides of the foramen magnum.

Argentum Nitricum. Digging, cutting motion through left hemisphere from occiput to frontal protuberance; increasing and decreasing rapidly. Bandlike strips, traction, from occiput into middle of brain.

Digging and tumultuous raging in right hemisphere until he loses his senses; if pain abates in forehead, it increases in sides of head and towards occiput, extending thence down the neck.

Arnica. Pressive headache, now more in forehead, now in occiput. Pressive, as if, head were being distended; pain seemingly from something soft in vertex, with drawing in occiput. Violent sticking in forehead and occiput on waking in morning. Pain in occiput, as from electric shocks.

Headaches in general are accompanied with confusion, fullness, heaviness, with dizziness; burning in brain, the body being cool. Occipital pains are not characteristic.

Arsenicum. Headache in occiput; tearing.

Arum Italicum.- Damp weather causes persistent headache, worse at the occiput.

Arum Triphyllum. Shooting pain in occiput when turning eyes upwards in morning.

Asafoetida. Aching in occiput, gradually extending over the head as if the brain was compressed by a cloth thrown over it. Drawing. Pressure.

Asarum Europoeum. Feels arteries in occiput, then all over. Tension of whole scalp.

Asclepias Tuberosa. Headache presses deeply upon base of brain and is like that Ipecac.

Asterias Rubens. Pains more severe at back of head than at the forehead. Dull occipital headache, comes and goes suddenly.

The Asterias-headache is congestive and neuralgic.

Aurum. Fine tearing from the right side of occiput through the brain to the forehead; worse during motion.

Aurum. Mur.Natronatum. Heaviness and heat in occiput. Boring in left side of Occiput. Drawing in bones.

Aurum Sulphuratum. Lancination in occiput.

The prover of Aurum Met., who furnishes the pains in the limbs, back and joints and even in the teeth, (above-confirmed symptoms). describes similar tearing with swollen gums. It is a fair inference that the tearing is periosteal.

Baptisia. Dull feeling, especially in the occiput, where there is slight pain and fullness. Dull pressure.

Baryta Acetica.- Pressing-asunder stitch, traverses left side of occiput, ends in the cervical vertebrae. Heavy sensation in whole occiput, (<) close to neck, with tension in same, not (<) motion. Sudden sensation of drawing from the occiput over the right ear and lower jaw. Dull pressive pain in occipital bone, from cervical vertebre behind right ear, obliquely to parietal bone.

Baryta Carbonica. Rheumatic pains in occiput; cervical and occipital glands swollen. Throbbing, extending to frontal eminence.

Baryta Sulphurica- Throbbing in the occiput or in whole head.

Baryta irritates the nerves slightly, and then causes muscular weakness, paresis and even Paralysis. It is useful in Neuralgia and in Rheumatism from exposure, especially to damp. The CARBONATE cure s, particularly when stiff-neck, rheumatic pains and swollen glands obtain. The Acetica deserves a trial for its well-defined pains. Accompaniments may be, in either remedy, tension of the face as from cobwebs, general tenseness of skin, which is as dry as parchment. Scrofulous persons, who take cold very easily, have large, hard abdomens, and mentally are dejected, irresolute, slow in comprehension. Also in old, infirm, persons, whose blood vessels are undergoing senile changes, who are threatened with Apoplexy and who readily catch cold on the least exposure.

Belladonna.- Jerking headache, worse when walking quickly or going upstairs, and when at every step there is a jolt downwards as if a weight were in the occiput. Throbbing pressure, left side of occiput. Cutting in head to left occipital protuberance. Severe, rapid stabs in occiput behind. Sensation of weight, with violent pressing in the occiput. Head drawn backward and bored deeply into pillows.

The occiput may participate in the general congestive and inflammatory action of this remedy, and in some cases, may be the chief point of attack. Then the patient cannot lie down on the back or incline the head backwards. Inflammation at the base of the brain causes boring in the pillow, and if this extends into the spine; also opisthotonos.

Benzinum. – Severe darting in occiput from below upwards, recurring in paroxysms, (<) from motion, and especially rising after sitting.

Berberis. Pressive, tearing pain in occiput, as if scalp was too small and brain too large. Tearing in left side of neck and posteriorly in slow jerks upwards to occiput.

These are the well-known pains of Berberis, and indicate the remedy in Neuralgia of neck and occiput, especially if the patient is weak from defective assimilation and tissue- oxidation, the urine depositing a copious foamy sediment.

Bismuthum Oxidum. Dull cutting in brain, begins above the right orbit and extends to the occiput. Pressure and sensation of heaviness, (<) on motion. Twitching, tearing whole left side of occipital bone, (<) close to parietal.

This Oxide, which however, is probably the subnitrate, is of eminent service in pains of head, eyes, and spine, when reflex from gastric origin. The tongue is white, the taste bitter and there are nausea, burning, pressure and distress in stomach through to the back, with a sore, burning spot in the spine. Prostration is excessive, while the face is often indicative of poor nutrition and of abdominal distress; earthy face, blue, rings around the eyes, features changed, as if, he had been sick. Trousseau used the drug for eructations non-foetid, diarrhoea worse when child is weaned, also when continuing after dentition; stools cadaverous; excessive exhaustion, but surface remains warm.

Borax. Throbbing in occiput, as if, it would suppurate, shivering all over, Pulsating rush of blood into occiput.

Bovista.- After walking in open air violent Pressive headache, heavy feeling, (<) occiput, (>) night and in room. Confusion and heaviness, lids inclined to fall, eyes feel, as if, they would be drawn backwards, especially in a bright light in evening; anxiety and uneasiness of body. Dull pain with tension in temples. Pressive pain, extending over vertex to forehead. Feeling in occiput, as if, everything would protrude. As if, a wedge was being pressed in occiput. Violent sticking and tearing in left side of occiput. Dull boring; pressive stitches in occiput to forehead and over left eye, in warm room. Tearing in occiput and in lower jaw. Violent fine stitches in left side of occiput.

Bovista affects the brain so as to cause anaesthesia and symptoms of asphyxia. It has therefore, been used for the ill- effects of the fumes of burning charcoal. It should be thought of in occipital headaches of weak persons, who have cerebral hyperaemia, tendency to ptosis, drowsiness, etc. A sense, as if, the head were enormously large is an excellent characteristic. The drug here resembles Gelsemium. In a clear case, however, the Bovista cutaneous symptoms will be present.

Bromine. Heat in occiput. Towards evening, in rather damp weather. Pains in bones of head, mostly in forehead and occiput.

Bone-pains are less characteristic of Bromium than are congestion to chest and head, Croup, Pneumonia, etc., They come usually after these other symptoms. As they were rather worse in damp weather, and as we know clinically that Bromine has aggravation from dampness, etc, we may essay the remedy in rheumatic, scrofulous patients with pains in occipital bones, etc. Compare Baryta, Aurum, Dulc, Mercurius

Bryonia.- Awoke with headache, (<) over left eye, after rising, pain extended towards vertex and occiput, and there disappeared. Slight headache left side of forehead and occiput, with slight tension below mastoid. Drawing, distending headache, left half of forehead and occiput while walking. Slight drawing in forehead and pressure in occiput. Pressive pain above left eye, followed by dull pressive pain in occipital protuberances, whence it spreaded over the whole body; pain so severe on quick motion and after eating that it seemed like a distinct pulsation within the head. Hollow throbbing in forehead and occiput. Pressing together in temporal muscles alternating frequently with drawing pains in occipital protuberances. Sensible beating in vertex with same and fullness within cranium in region of cerebellum. Numb sensation, occiput feels enlarged. Dull pain. Headache in occiput to shoulders, like heaviness on sore, spot, morning in bed after walking, while lying on back. Painfulness in lower portion of left side of occiput, (<) by touch. Dull pressure, Pressive pain with drawing down into neck, (>) towards noon. Sharp pain in left occipital protuberance, coming and going suddenly.

The direction of pains, from before backwards, is very characteristic of the Bryonia-headache. Few drugs act so prominently as this upon the occiput. Its symptoms, some of which have been confirmed, show it to be useful in gastric, bilious, congestive, neuralgic and rheumatic occipital headaches. In rheumatic cases, stiff-neck is a common accompaniment. Although in Typhoid Bryonia has generally been given in frontal headache, its occipital pains must not be neglected. Compare here, however, Rhus Rad. (q.v.).

Bufo.- Hammering from eye-brow to cerebellum. Lancinations in cerebellum, making head fall backwards; loss of consciousness, fall down, tonic and clonic spasms, face turgid and distorted, bloody saliva, involuntary urine, repeated shocks through body, legs in more violent motion than arms, face bathed in sweat. Pains in head make nape of neck feel, as if, compressed.

Some of these indications are doubtful because derived from the experiments of Houat, but we know enough of Bufo to be certain that it affects the region we are investigating. It should be remembered in epileptics who suffer from occipital compression and stiff-neck before paroxysms.

Cactus Grand. Heaviness and pain in posterior of brain, (<) lying on back. constant dull pain in cerebellum. Pain and drawing, (<) moving head. Pressure, (>) by quick exercise or mental activity. (See also Cereus Bon. and Serp. P.221.)

Calcarea Acetica. – Drawing pain right of forehead above eye and in occiput on exerting the mind. Drawing, pressive, tearing headache, now in forehead, now in occiput, now in temples, (>) pressure or exerting mind. Feels, as if, occiput would be pressed asunder. Pressive pain, suddenly shooting through the occiput. Jerk-like pressing outwards left side of occiput, extends down into neck. Drawing, pressive headache in left of occiput, stiff-neck. Sore pain in occiput when touched, as if place was suppurating.

Calcarea Carbonica. Violent dull headache, first in forehead, then in occiput. Cracking, audible in occiput, followed by warmth in neck. Heaviness, pressure. Headache in occiput whenever she ties anything tightly about the head. Drawing always towards side he moves head, (>) after sneezing. Gnawing. Tensive pressure. Cutting in occiput and forehead, (<) walking and from pressure. Stitches in right side of occiput.

Calcarea Caustica. :- Confused, dull pressure in forehead extending to occiput, could scarcely attend to business. Dull rheumatic pain; neck stiff. Pressive pain.

Calcarea Phosphorica. Staggering, dizzy when walking, with drawing in nape of neck, and confusion of head. Headache on top of head, behind ears, and drawing in muscles of neck of nape of neck and back of head. Muscles of neck hurt up to occiput. A slight draft is followed by rheumatic pain in neck, stiffness and dullness of head. Crawling, running over top of head, as if, ice were lying on upper part of occiput; head is hot, with smarting of roots of hair. Aching, drawing around lateral protuberances. Dull, sleepy, oppressive pain of whole head, (<) in cerebellum.

It is in rheumatic headache of the occiput and neck that the Calcarea Salts are most effective. Still in headaches, even congestive, when the peculiar ice-like feeling is present, CALC.CARB. and PHOS. are both useful.

Camphor. Headache, front to occiput. Contractive pain at base of brain, especially in occiput and above root of nose; (<) stooping low, lying down and from pressure; with cold hands and feet, hot forehead and coma vigil. Fine tearing in left side of forehead and of occiput. Pressure. Uneasy feeling. Cutting pressure from left side of occiput towards forehead. Throbbing in the cerebellum. (See Glonoine.)

Cannabis Indica. Vertigo on rising, with stunning pain in back part of head, he falls. Vertigo, head inclines backwards. Dull heavy throbbing pain through head, with sense of heavy blow on back of head and neck. Jerking in right side of forehead towards interior and back part of head. Headache in occiput and temples. Fullness in right of cerebellum. Dull pain, (<) shaking head. Sense of pressure at back of head, before convulsive movements, changing to an unpleasant feeling of heat, then of cold; he carries hands automatically to the spot; they are held there, as if, it were difficult to detach them. Feeling of surging from posterior of head towards forehead. Surging up neck into head, seeming to press it forward. Peculiar feeling, as if, a stream of warm water, gradually stealing up back into brain. Sense of a red hot iron rod passed up from sacrum to atlas, around the occiput over eyes from right, stopping at left ear, leaving a feeling as if charred.

A very precious remedy is this Hashish, serving well in uraemic headaches, congestions of brain and spine, Meningitis, abuse of Alcohol, etc. Characteristics are; errors of space and time, perception of both being extravagantly over-estimated.

Cannabis Sativa. Pressure beneath frontal eminence, deep through brain to occiput. Heaviness. Heat. Tension in occiput, then in forehead, lastly in temples. Drawing to occiput. Pressive pain right side of occiput.

Cantharis. Twitching in right occipital bone, then in left knee. Sticking pressing pain. Stitching in left side of occiput. Stitching tearing from both sides inward. Stitches, deep into brain on right occipital bone. Dull violent stitches in succession in occiput, extended into forehead, deep internally. Tearing from left side into left forehead, with vertigo lasting longer than pain. Tearing in nape of neck and stitching in right cervical muscles on moving head, when it extends into upper part of head.

The deeply-penetrating stitches extending towards forehead, occurred in same prover, who had deep soreness and heaviness in forehead, head feels, as if, being pressed forward.

Carbo Animals. :- Heaviness, especially in occiput and left temple with confusion. Pressive headache. Pressive pain in small spot. Stitches and throbbing. Twitching tearings shoot back and forth in left occiput. Painful tearing sticking in right.

Carbo Vegetabilis. Dizziness as after intoxication spreading from occiput, (<) walking. Severe headache, on stooping it presses out in forehead and occiput. Drawing all over head from occiput. Sticking headache extending into occiput. Tearing through whole head, starting from small spot in occiput. Crackling in occiput, while sitting. Confusion in occiput, as after intoxication. Confusion, like a tension from within. Much severe pain in occiput and boring in forehead, with sweat, pale, cold face, trembling hands, nausea. Drawing, tearing left side of occiput. Dull headache in occiput Violent pressive pain in and on the occiput, in the lower portion. Pressure, (<) after supper. Pressive headache in upper part of right side of occiput, pressure in eyes. Pressive headache, first in neck then in forehead, then lachrymation with closure of lids. Burning-sticking in a small sport.

E. A. Farrington
E. A. Farrington (1847-1885) was born in Williamsburg, NY, on January 1, 1847. He began his study of medicine under the preceptorship of his brother, Harvey W. Farrington, MD. In 1866 he graduated from the Homoeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania. In 1867 he entered the Hahnemann Medical College, graduating in 1868. He entered practice immediately after his graduation, establishing himself on Mount Vernon Street. Books by Ernest Farrington: Clinical Materia Medica, Comparative Materia Medica, Lesser Writings With Therapeutic Hints.