Occipital Nerve Block
Occipital nerve blocks reduce swelling around the occipital nerves and chronic pain associated with tension headaches, migraine headaches, and occipital neuralgia. This injection contains a local anesthetic and steroid medication, which is typically injected into the greater and lesser occipital nerves located above the neck and around the back of the head. Patients may experience significant pain relief immediately after the injection that lasts anywhere from several days to a few months.
What is Occipital Nerve Block?
Occipital nerve blocks reduce swelling around the occipital nerves and chronic pain associated with:
- Tension headaches
- Migraine headaches
- Occipital neuralgia
What Types of Pain Does Occipital Nerve Block Treat?
An occipital nerve block typically treats:
- Shooting, zapping, stinging, burning head pain
- Migraines, cluster headaches
- Spondylosis of cervical facet joints
- Scalp tenderness or pain
How Does an Occipital Nerve Block Work?
This injection contains a local anesthetic and steroid medication, which is typically injected into the greater and lesser occipital nerves located above the neck and around the back of the head.
Expectations and Recovery
Patients may experience significant pain relief immediately after the injection that lasts anywhere from several days to a few months.
Some patients’ symptoms aren’t relieved within a week or two, requiring a second injection. Other nerve blockers may as well be utilized for additional pain relief.
No more than three occipital nerve blocks are normally administered within six months of the first, or else other complications may arise.
What are Common Causes of Head Pain?
Headaches are common among nervous system disorders, and can be caused by a variety of factors depending on the type of headache:
Often beginning at puberty, migraines affect women more often than men. They may occur with menstruation and can be caused by hormones. The activation of pain-producing inflammatory substances in the brain causes migraine pain.
The most common form of headache, tension headaches typically begin in your teenage years, affecting more women than they do men. These may be caused by stress, hormone fluctuations, nerve compression, and musculoskeletal disorders in the neck.
Less frequently than other types of headaches, cluster headaches tend to affect men more than women. They’re brief, usually severe, and focus around or behind one eye. These can be episodic or chronic. The cause is unclear, but it might be related to abnormalities in the hypothalamus.
What Symptoms are Typical of Head Pain?
Common symptoms of head pain include:
- Moderate to severe pain on either or both sides of the head
- Pulsing or throbbing
- Sinus pain, pain in the temple area
- Head pain in the morning
- Dull pain, or pain on the top of your head
- Persistent, constant head pain
- Pain that worsens with activity
- Lasting pain from hours to days
- Nausea or vomiting
- Tightness or pressure in or around the head
- Pain focused behind one or both eyes
- Tearing or redness of an eye or a drooping eyelid
Other Conservative Treatments for Head Pain
Other procedures used to treat severe headaches offered by The Pain Center include botox injections, abortive therapy, and preventative therapy.