Occipital Nerve Block

Neck & Head Pain Treatment in Texas

The occipital nerve block outpatient procedure is often recommended for patients suffering from chronic neck and head pain. In this procedure, an injection of local anesthetic and anti-inflammatory steroids in the soft tissues in the back of the head next to the occipital nerve. The occipital nerve is the source of many headache-related pains, and blocking the nerve’s ability to send signals to the brain can result in significant relief.

Why Receive an Occipital Nerve Block?

The thought of receiving an injection in the back of the head may cause some anxiety. Rest assured, occipital injections are safe procedures and the area around the occipital nerve will be numbed with an anesthetic numbing agent before the procedure begins. If you would prefer to be asleep during the procedure, the doctor can provide you with IV sedation. By the time you wake up, the injection will be completed. The injection procedure typically takes less than 10 minutes.

An occipital nerve block can serve two purposes: to diagnose the cause of your pain and treat the pain. If the treatment is successful in relieving the pain, then this confirms that your headache pain stems from the occipital nerve.

Recovery

The occipital nerve block is a nonsurgical outpatient procedure, so you can return home the same day of treatment. After the injection is completed, you will be observed for 15 minutes while your heart rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs are monitored.

The injection area may be sore for a little while. Applying an ice-back can help with this, and the soreness should go away in a couple of days. You may not experience pain relief right away after the injection, most patients experience the results two to three days after the procedure. The results can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

From the Doctor's Desk

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