Occipital Nerve Blocks
Occipital nerve blocks
An occipital nerve block is an injection of steroid medication around the occipital nerves that are located on the back of the head, just above the neck. The steroid injection reduces the swelling and inflammation of tissue around the occipital nerves to reduce pain in the nerves surrounding the structure of the head and neck. Additionally, tension headaches and migraines may also respond well to occipital nerve blocks.
Because the occipital nerve block involves the insertion of a needle through the skin and deeper tissues, the patient may experience some discomfort. However, all discomfort is eliminated with a local anaesthetic. It is done with the patient seated or lying down. And the skin and hair of the back of the head are cleaned with antiseptic solution before the injection is carried out.
Immediately after this procedure, patients may feel that their pain has decreased or vanished completely. However, this usually only lasts for a few hours, and the patient may experience slight headaches for a day or two. This is all due to the mechanical process of needle insertion, as well as the initial irritation from the steroid itself. On the third day after this procedure, a more lasting pain relief is experienced.