Occipital nerve blocks are injections of anesthesia and steroids used to treat chronic pain caused by certain types of headaches. It is done at the back of the head where the occipital nerves give sensation. The occipital nerves are sensory nerves and they are located on the left and right sides where the neck meets the scalp.
What Do Occipital Nerve Blocks Entail?
During your visit for treatment, you may be seated or lie face down as the injections are administered to the back of the head. A local anesthesia is given for pain, though you still may experience some tingling or minor pain during the procedure.
A very fine needle is used for the steroid injection which is administered to the back of the head, just above the neck on either one or both sides of the head. The procedure takes just a few minutes, and image guidance is not necessary.
What Are the Risks of Having Occipital Nerve Blocks?
Most people have some pain at the injection site due to the injection itself and the procedure is a safe one, but there are some uncommon side effects that can occur such as bleeding, worsening of symptoms, or infection. It is a very low risk procedure.
What Are the Benefits of Having Occipital Nerve Blocks?
Occipital blocks are usually incredible for relieving pain and headache symptoms. For cervicogenic headaches, studies have shown over 90% of patients obtain relief for over six months. This may entail several injections performed every 1-2 months.
An additional option for headaches is to perform a radiofrequency ablation of the occipital nerve. This procedure deadens the occipital nerves with the hopes of providing longer-lasting pain and headache relief.
Seattle Pain Relief offers comprehensive treatment options including the occipital block procedure for all types of headaches. The Board Certified Seattle pain management doctors help patients obtain relief, with most insurance being accepted.
Call (206) 536-3007 today!
“Pain Management and Nerve Blocks”, Pain Management Health Center, WebMD
“Occipital Block”, Head and Neck Pain, Cedars-Sinai
“Occipital Nerve Block”, OhioHealth MedCentral Hospitals