by Nevada Pain
An occipital nerve block is an injection that occurs at the top of your neck where it joins to your skull. This is an outpatient procedure and offers excellent relief of pain from a number of different types of headaches, migraines, and occipital neuralgia. The pain relief can last for a number of months and it will decrease both the pain and the number of times the headaches occur.
The occipital nerve starts on both sides of your neck at the back close to your skull. The lesser occipital and greater occipital nerves are found on both the left and right side of the neck, and it provides the sensation to the back of your head; however, it doesn’t have any motor skill function. When it becomes inflamed, it can cause painful headaches that usually occur on one side or the other.
Occipital Nerve Block Injections for Headache and Migraine Pain
Occipital nerve block injections can help a number of different types of headache. They are designed to reduce the level of pain you have that is originating from the occipital neuralgia, which will generally be responsible for pain on one side. The occipital nerve block injections have been shown to be highly effective in the treatment of cluster headaches, cervicogenic headaches and migraines.
How the Occipital Nerve Block Injection is Done
The injections are done at a Las Vegas Pain Management office. You will receive an injection in the most tender area. Usually the skin is numbed before the injection is done. The pain management doctor in Las Vegas injects the medication and often there is some cortisone included to help increase the pain relief. Sometimes phenol is used as it provides longer lasting relief.
Occipital Nerve Block Outcomes
Research has shown that with cervicogenic headaches the success rate is more than 95% for relief of pain for 6 months. (Pain Pract 2006). Another study shows that 85% of those with cluster headaches were pain free for 1 to 4 months. (Pain. 2005).
The repeat of the treatment when the original wears off should continue to provide relief.
The Risks of Having Occipital Nerve Block Injections
The risks are very low but with any treatment, there is always some risk. There is a small risk of bleeding. Should the needle go too deep it might cause a spinal fluid leak, but this is highly unusual.
If you are on blood thinners, you will need to stop taking them about a week before your surgery. Your doctor will tell you when to discontinue all or some of your medications.
If you or someone you know suffers from migraines, occipital neuralgia or cluster headaches the occipital block can help and lasts 3 to 6 months. If the occipital nerve block works but wears you’re your Pain Management Doctor can give you another injection or you might also have a radiofrequency ablation procedure, another very helpful treatment.
Don’t suffer with your headaches see a pain management doctor today to learn what can be done to eliminate your pain. Nevada Pain offers headache specialists in the greater Las Vegas, Henderson, Enterprise and Summerlin areas. Over 50 insurances are accepted, call (702) 323-0553 for more information and scheduling today!