The relentless pain of chronic headaches often leaves patients in search of a relief solution. Patients with chronic headaches and migraines typically report that the pain arises from the neck or base of the skull, where occipital nerves are located. To block that flow of pain, a solution that some patients opt for is a therapeutic treatment called an occipital nerve block.
An occipital nerve block is a minimally invasive procedure that can be effective in managing various headache conditions. Essentially, an occipital pain management nerve block helps to stop the flow of pain signals that otherwise would make it to your brain, leading to a decrease in chronic headaches. Additionally, occipital nerve blocks can be performed to reduce swelling and inflammation in the back of a patient’s head.
How does the procedure work?
There is no need to fear an occipital nerve block procedure - it is a relatively fast and simple procedure. During the procedure, a small needle is used to inject a local anesthetic and a steroid anti-inflammatory drug into the area where the occipital nerves are located. The injection helps to block the pain signals.
The insertion of the needle isn’t typically painful, and the procedure usually takes less than 10 minutes. And the best part - the pain relief typically occurs pretty quickly, usually within 15 minutes of the block.
Following the procedure, you’ll be able to drive yourself home and carry on with your day as normal. There is no major recovery time associated with this procedure.
If you’re experiencing chronic headaches or migraines, an occipital nerve block may be a great pain management treatment option for you.