Occipital Nerve Blocks
The occipital nerves include the greater occipital nerves and small nerves that stem from the top of the spine and span up the back of the head. These nerves can be affected by inflammation in the upper spine or by muscle tension, causing pain in the back of the head. One option for treating pain caused by occipital nerve irritation is a nerve block injection, one of our treatments for chronic headaches and occipital neuralgia we offer at Medici Spine & Pain.
Nerves that are exposed to pinching or pressure can cause pain. The occipital nerves are susceptible to irritation, starting at the top of the cervical spine and through the neck and head where the nerves span. Arthritis and inflammation in the spine cause occipital nerve pressure as can inflammation in muscles or tendons in the neck and scalp. This creates chronic headaches and pain in the back of the head. Occipital nerve block injections may be effective in relieving the inflammation and reducing head pain.
Conditions Treated with Occipital Nerve Blocks
There are several symptoms and conditions that can be relieved with occipital nerve block injections. They include:
- Chronic tension or cluster headaches
- Occipital neuralgia
- Pain in the back of the head or only one side of the head
To perform the procedure, an injection of local anesthetic and anti-inflammatory steroid is placed near the affected greater and lesser occipital nerves. The local anesthesia offers immediate relief, and the steroid can reduce inflammation over the next few days. If the injection is successful in relieving the head pain, it can identify the source of the condition for further treatment.
If you have pain that is localized in the upper neck and back of the head, you may be suffering from occipital nerve irritation. To explore treatments including occipital nerve block injections, contact us at Medici Spine & Pain today. We have clinics located in the greater Atlanta area for treating chronic pain disorders.