Occipital Nerve Blocks
The occipital nerves exit the cervical spine in the neck and travel up the back of the scalp toward the eyes and forehead. When these nerves are pinched or irritated, they can cause severe, debilitating headaches. One of the options for relieving occipital nerve headaches is injection therapy to block the nerve pain signals to the brain. Allied Pain & Spine Institute provides occipital nerve block injections at our state-of-the-art medical facility in San Leandro, CA.
The occipital nerves can be impacted by many factors, as they serve the muscles and tissue along the back side of the head. Cervical spine conditions can pinch, compress or irritate the nerve roots as they exit the spine. Herniated discs, arthritis and other issues can result in occipital neuralgia, cluster headaches or migraines. Injuries to the back of the head or muscle/tendon pressure can also affect the occipital nerves.
When a patient is experiencing headaches or migraines, especially only on one side of the back of the head, they may be caused by the occipital nerve. Using an occipital nerve block injection can help diagnose the cause of the headaches and also relieve the pain.
Headache Injection Therapy
If occipital nerve irritation is the suspected source of head pain, a block injection can be performed. These injections contain a steroid and local anesthetic. The injection is carefully placed next to the targeted occipital nerve. Imaging may be used to guide the needle, especially if it is placed near the cervical spine. The treatment only takes about 15-30 minutes to complete.
If the occipital nerve is causing frequent headaches or head pain, the local anesthetic may provide instant relief. Steroids can provide anti-inflammatory results that can minimize nerve irritation for a longer period of time. When occipital nerve blocks are successful at relieving head pain, it can identify the source and further treatment options can be explored.
Cluster headaches, migraines and head pain can be debilitating. If you have chronic headaches, contact us at Allied Pain & Spine Institute. We offer innovative treatment and diagnostic options to relieve head pain, including occipital nerve blocks, at our clinic in San Leandro, CA.