Occipital Nerve Block

Summary of Procedure: Occipital Nerve Block

Pain caused by the occipital nerves can be alleviated by a minimally invasive procedure called an occipital nerve block. The occipital nerves are located at the back of the head, above the neck.

Symptoms of occipital nerve pain are chronic headaches, sensitivity to light, neck pain, tender scalp, and pain behind the eyes. An occipital nerve block helps alleviate pain by reducing inflammation.

For the procedure, a physician will inject a local anesthetic to the area to numb it. Then, the physician will inject a combination of an anesthetic and steroid into the affected occipital nerves. Due to the local anesthetic, patients may experience immediate pain relief during this time.

The injection takes only a few short minutes. The patient is then transferred to a separate room to recover.

Related: Injections for Back Pain in Greenville

What to Expect Post-Procedure of an Occipital Nerve Block

Patients are sent home to rest and recover post-procedure. Typically, if a sedative is not used, patients are able to drive themselves home. Applying ice packs to the injection site may help to reduce pain and swelling in the area. Some pain may return as the anesthetic wears off.

The steroid takes full effect in about 3-5 days, at which point, the patient will experience pain relief and a reduction in other symptoms (headaches, chronic migraines, pain behind the eyes, neck pain, etc.) Pain relief from the steroid can last anywhere from a few days to a few months.

Several injections may be advised for long-lasting pain relief. Please report any signs of infection (nausea, swelling, increased pain or swelling) immediately to your physician.

If you’d like to learn more about occipital nerve blocks and whether they’re right for you, call a physician at Carolina Spine and Pain Centers today. We have multiple locations throughout South Carolina to best serve you.

Get in touch by calling us at 864-535-0144 or by filling out an appointment request form on our contact page.

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