An occipital nerve block is a treatment specifically designed to help treat headaches caused by inflammation and swelling around the occipital nerve. This nerve block is the injection of a steroid around these nerves in the back of the head right above the neck.
This steroid injection reduces inflammation and swelling and ultimately helps reduce pain in this area.
The primary benefit of an occipital nerve block is to help those with debilitating headaches that hinder their ability to live their normal day-to-day lives. The procedure is fairly simple, and most patients don’t need to be sedated for the procedure. After a local anesthetic is in place a small needle with the steroid will be inserted in the back of the head.
Typically, most patients notice long-lasting pain relief within 3 to 5 days of the treatment, with long-term benefits lasting for several days to a few months.
The two most common conditions treated with occipital nerve blocks and tension headaches and migraine headaches.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headaches that people suffer from and are characterized by pressure around the back of the head and neck. While some people are able to live normal lives with tension headaches, they can be extremely debilitating for other people. In these cases occipital nerve blocks may be able to help.
Migraine headaches are often classified as the most difficult and debilitating form of headache. These headaches are classified by having at least five headaches in a row that last between 4-72 hours. Since they are chronic and debilitating they are extremely debilitating to most people’s quality of life. Migraines can include nausea, vomiting and light and sound sensitivity as well. Occipital blocks may be able to help with these.
If you believe you could benefit from an occipital nerve block, come visit the experts at Principal Spine today. Our pain management doctors are accepting new patients to schedule and appointment, please call our Carrollton clinic at (972) 316-7270 or our Denton clinic at (940) 222-8943.