The Headache Institute
Diagnosis & Treatment
What You Need To Know About Occipital Nerve Blocks
- It’s an injection of numbing medicine next to the occipital nerves.
- They are located on either side of the scalp, originating at the neck.
- There is a Greater and Lesser Occipital Nerve – either one can produce pain. Neither has a motor function (only sensory).
- The injection is designed to stop the pain traveling along these nerves, which can lead to:
- Occipital Neuralgia
- Cervicogenic Headaches
- Diagnostic and Therapeutic Purpose
- Pain in one or both sides of the head.
- Tender scalp
- Aching, burning throbbing pain.
- May be described a sharp or electrical shock in back part of neck and head.
- Occipital neuralgia – Those with pain on one side of the back of the head benefit the most.
- Migraine sufferers.
- Cervicogenic headaches – by definition – any headache caused by the neck. Typically one sided.
- Cluster Headaches – one of the most painful headache types.
- Quick procedure, can be done in the office in a few minutes.
- No need for sedation.
- Pain doctor feels point of maximal tenderness at base of skull.
- Doctor moves needle to inject both nerve areas with numbing medicine +/- steroid.
- Slight bleeding.
- Infection, allergic reaction.
- Repeating procedure works very well.