What Is An Occipital Nerve Block?

What Is An Occipital Nerve Block?

December 25, 2015

Many people who suffer with migraines and other severe headache disorders do so because of pain which originates at the back of the head in the area known as the occipital-cervical region. The occipital nerves are two nerves which run from the crown of the head down to the top portion of the neck.

Pain in the occipital-cervical region can originate in muscles, ligaments, blood vessels, connective tissue, as well as nerves. The pain can be searing, white-hot, debilitating. Anyone who has suffered migraines knows how everything in their life just comes to a stop until the pain subsides.

These days there is a treatment that can bring migraine pain relief. It is known as an occipital nerve block. This is an injection of a steroid or other medication that is injected around the greater and lesser occipital nerves which are located on the back of the head, just above the neck area.

What an occipital nerve block does is to lessen the inflammation and swelling around the occipital nerve. This may reduce pain, reduce inflammation, and lessen the irritation of the nerves. Headaches which occur over the back of the head, typically migraines, can benefit from an occipital nerve block.

This type of injection is easy to administer, and takes just a few minutes. There may be slight pain from the needle being injected deep into the muscle region, but there is a local anesthetic which will numb the area. There is no sedation needed.

When you come into Pain stop clinics for an occipital nerve block treatment, you can sit or lay down for the procedure. Antiseptic solution is used to clean the area where the injection will go, and then it is given. A local anesthetic within the injection will lessen any pain you have been feeling right away.

Your pain may not be gone immediately. Once the local anesthetic wears off, it may take a few days for you to notice a more lasting pain relief. Usually though, once the injection has been administered, you should rest a bit and take it easy for the entire day. You can drive and do everything else with ease.

Occipital nerve blocks are an effective treatment, given as pain management in Mesa, AZ. If needed, injections are done about one week apart. If you don’t respond well to the first injection, you can benefit from a second injection. Usually not more than three injections in a six-month period are recommended.

If you suffer with head and neck pain, consult with a pain management professional at Pain Stop Clinics today.

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