Occipital Nerve Blocks
Do you suffer from headaches that have failed to improve with time and/or conservative therapy? If so you may be a candidate for this quick and simple treatment option.
Occipital Nerve Block Q&A
What is an Occipital Nerve Block?
An occipital nerve block involves injecting pain-relieving medication into your greater and lesser occipital nerves. Pain relief may be immediate and usually lasts as long as the numbness, sometimes the relief may be long lasting.
What are the Benefits?
There are two major benefits to using this block. Not only is it useful in treating Occipital Neuralgia, relieving or reducing pain in the back of the head in the scalp, but if symptoms improve after the injection then the block is also useful in diagnosing Occipital Neuralgia.
How Does it Work?
During the procedure, a pain specialist will feel for the protrusion of the occipital bone of the skull behind the ear, and identify the pulsing, nearby occipital artery which runs alongside the greater occipital nerve. The physician can then inject an anesthetic/steroid solution into the area to provide pain relief and reduce inflammation.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
Usually, a series of block injections is needed to treat the problem adequately, however the response to the block varies from patient to patient.
When Will I Feel Better?
Pain relief may be immediate and sometimes the relief may be long lasting.
Is an Occipital Nerve Block Right for Me?
It is most often used in the treatment of Occipital Neuralgia and Cervicogenic headache. Occipital Neuralgia will typically follow a trauma to the nerves over the occiput (back of the head) and is characterized by an acute onset of pain in the distribution of the occipital nerves. Cervicogenic headache is more chronic, with an insidious onset. We will schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Physicians, to see if this treatment is a good fit for you.