Occipital Nerve Block

What is an Occipital Nerve Block?

An Occipital Nerve Block is a procedure that involves injecting pain-relieving medication and steroids into your greater and lesser occipital nerves.
It’s primarily used as a treatment for chronic migraines and headaches.

What to expect during the procedure

During the procedure, you’ll lie face down on the table.

A medical professional will apply an anesthetic to the back of your head just above your neck. They’ll then insert a fine needle into the injection site until the needle reaches your occipital nerve.

After the injection, the area will become numb as the pain-relieving medication takes effect. Some people notice improvements in their pain in as little as 15 minutes.

The procedure only takes a couple of minutes to complete. You should arrange to have someone drive you home after the procedure, but you’ll typically be able to drive and return to normal activities the next day.

How long does the pain relief last?

The full pain-relieving effects of the steroids can take several days to take effect.

The amount of time that an occipital nerve block reduces pain varies from person to person. However, they can cause pain relief for months in some people.

What’s an Occipital Nerve Block typically used for?

An occipital nerve block is used to reduce chronic head pain. Some of the specific conditions it’s commonly used to treat include the following.

Side Effects

Infection, No improvement in symptoms, Stronger headaches Trusted Source, Allergic reactions, Dizziness numbness, Bleeding at the injection site, Light-headedness, Small risk of nerve damage
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