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The occipital nerves exit the spine between the top two vertebrae in the spine, located at the base of the skull. These nerves, the greater and lesser occipital nerves, relay signals of sensations from the back of the head. When they are compressed or irritated by spinal or other conditions, they can cause localized or radiating pain, including headaches. An occipital nerve block is one of the possible treatments for occipital nerve pain conditions, one of the procedures available at DOCS Health in Los Angeles, CA.

Occipital nerve pain can result due to facet joint spondylosis or other conditions that irritate the occipital nerves. Patients may experience shooting or burning pain up the back of the scalp or radiating pain near the eye on either side of the head. Occipital nerve irritation can result in headaches or migraines. The pain may also be localized at the base of the skull where the nerves exit the spine.

An occipital nerve block is used to numb the nerves to stop the associated pain. It is a minimally invasive procedure using a cervical injection to deliver aesthesia and steroid medication to the occipital nerve to relieve associated pain and symptoms.

Relief for Migraines and Headaches

Occipital nerve blocks can be an effective option for relieving cluster headaches or migraines. The procedure is performed by numbing the nerve root and using steroid medication to relieve inflammation that may be interfering with the nerves. During the treatment, the patient’s neck is numbed with local anesthesia before the image-guided injection is performed. The injection delivers a numbing agent and steroid to the area near the occipital nerve root. The patient may feel immediate relief of pain due to the numbing medication. The effects of the steroid take a few days to work, relieving inflammation and minimizing nerve irritation.

If you have migraines, headaches or other pain caused by the occipital nerves, come see us at DOCS Health. We offer interventional pain management options that are minimally invasive, including occipital nerve block injections. Contact our medical center in Los Angeles to book your appointment for a pain management consultation.