What is an Occipital Nerve Block?
A Occipital Nerve Block is an injection of local anesthetic and steroid around the occipital nerve. This is used to treat chronic head pain. This injection can be used for therapeutic as well as diagnostic.
What can you expect during your visit?
You will meet with your doctor in the exam room first and they will go over all the risks and benefits of this procedure. They will then ask you to sit facing the exam room bed, and you will be asked to look down. At that point the skin is disinfected and a numbing agent and steroid medication are injected around the occipital nerves. In some cases, Botox medication is used to paralyze the problem muscles.
What happens after the injection?
You will be asked not to drive for at least 24 hours after the procedure and you must have a driver drive you home from our office. You may experience pain, and some soreness in the injection site lasting a day or two. The anesthetic should give you immediate relief while it may take the steroid 3-5 days to fully kick in.
How long will the pain relief last?
The duration of the pain relief will vary per person but can last from a only a few days to a matter of weeks or months. Repeated injections may be necessary to manage the pain.
Is there anything specific I need to tell my doctor prior to this procedure?
You should tell your doctor if you are pregnant, on blood thinners, diabetic, or if you have any other concerns you would like to address beforehand.