Occipital Nerve Block
Occipital nerve block is a type of therapeutic pain block that involves injecting a local anesthetic in the area around the occipital nerves. These nerves, which are located in the back of the head, are often involved in migraine and other headaches (such as occipital neuralgia).
Occipital nerve blocks relieve headaches by blocking pain signals that the occipital nerves send to the brain.
Occipital nerve block is used to treat occipital neuralgia and chronic headaches, such as chronic migraine. You may feel relief from headache pain within 15 minutes of treatment, but this varies by individual. Others may not have full relief of symptoms for a few days.
The length of time before symptoms reappear can also vary widely, lasting only days for some people but months for others. Occipital nerve block is usually not a cure for occipital neuralgia and chronic headaches.
You may be a good candidate for occipital nerve block if you have:
- Occipital neuralgia
- Chronic migraine
- Some other kinds of chronic headache
- Cluster headache
- Hemicrania continua
Occipital nerve block tends to be less effective or ineffective for:
- Tension headache
- Intracranial Hypotension
- Idiopathic intracranial hypertension
Complications from occipital nerve blocks are rare. You will experience temporary numbness over regions supplied by the occipital nerves, along with mild soreness at the injection sites for 3-5 days. Difficulties speaking and swallowing have been reported but only last hours at most and are rare.
Occipital nerve block is an outpatient procedure and does not require general anesthesia.
Request an Appointment with an Occipital Nerve Block Specialist
Call (602) 406-6262
- Date of last review: July 11, 2019
- Author: Kerry Knievel, DO