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Pain Treatments

Occipital Nerve Block

Occipital Nerve Block

The back of the head is known as the occiput. The greater and lesser occipital nerves cover most of the sensation over the back of the head. Sometimes, the occipital nerve can be irritated from trauma or chronic pain, and will become inflamed as a result of entrapment as the nerve penetrates the soft tissue at the back of the head. They can produce tenderness and headache at the base of the head. In an occipital nerve block, a local anesthestic (numbing medicine) and a corticosteroid (an anti-inflammatory medicine) are injected near these nerves, which help temporarily numb pain and can reduce inflammation. This injection can be used to diagnose or treat the pain.

The pain will return later that day as the local anesthetic wears off. Longer-term relief is obtained with the corticosteroid.

How long the pain relief lasts varies person to person. For some, the relief lasts several days to months. If the treatment works for you, you can have periodic injections to stay pain-free.

The pain will return later that day as the local anesthetic wears off. Longer-term relief is obtained with the corticosteroid.

How long the pain relief lasts varies person to person. For some, the relief lasts several days to months. If the treatment works for you, you can have periodic injections to stay pain-free.

The risk of a complication from an occipital nerve block is very low. Rarely, complications include bleeding or infection at the injection site, which is unusual for this kind of injection. Most of the time, these effects resolve within a few hours.

It is okay to be active the day of the procedure. There are no specific restrictions for this particular procedure. Do not drive the day of the injection if you have had any form of anesthesia.

You can continue your regular diet and medications immediately.

Please record your percentage of pain relief for the first 4-6 hours after the injection. Your response after this initial injection will be a major deciding factor in determining whether a confirmation injection is to be performed.

Not sure what treatment options are best for you?  Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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