Occipital Nerve Blocks

Headache Treatment for a specific type of headache – occipital neuralgia (headaches arising from the back of the head)

Occipital neuralgia

What is an occipital nerve block?

An occipital nerve block is used to treat certain types of headaches by the injection of a steroid solution into the tissues around the occipital nerves located over the back of the head.

What should I do to prepare for the procedure?

No specific preparation is needed.

How long will it take?

The actual injection only takes 5 to 10 minutes.

What can I expect to happen during the procedure?

Several injections will be made into the soft tissue on the back of the head just above the neck area using a very small needle.

What is exactly is injected?

A type of steroid called depo-medrol combined with marcaine (a local anesthetic agent).
Depo-medrol is a type of a steroid known as a corticosteroid. These compounds have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. They can be injected into localized areas of inflammation to decrease pain and swelling.

Will it hurt?

There is some minor discomfort involved. The procedure involves inserting a needle through skin and deeper tissues.

What should I do after the occipital nerve block?

You may want to apply ice to the injected area. You can perform any activity you can tolerate.