Can a Nerve Block Help my Migraines?

Can a Nerve Block Help my Migraines?

If you’re among the millions of people in the United States (35 million, to be exact) who suffer from migraines, you’ve likely sought treatment after treatment with only mild to moderate success. 

We urge you not to give up hope, as there are many ways that we can approach migraine pain. An occipital nerve block is one such avenue. While this type of block isn’t for all migraine sufferers, it has brought relief to many.

At Pain Medicine Consultants, our team’s goal is to offer a wide range of pain-management options, because we understand that what may work for one patient may not work for another. 

Such is definitely the case with occipital nerve blocks, which we use to combat headaches and migraines. To determine whether an occipital nerve block may help relieve your migraines, read on.

Understanding your occipital nerves

Your occipital nerves are a group of nerves that originate from the C2 and C3 nerves in your cervical spine (C stands for cervical).

There are three major occipital nerves:

These nerves control the sensations around the back and top of your head, which are areas where many migraine sufferers experience symptoms.

This point is an important one, as occipital nerve blocks aren’t for all migraine patients. If your migraines tend to start in your neck, at the base of your skull, or around the back or top of your head, the chances are good that an occipital nerve block can help.

If your migraines follow a different path, we’re happy to discuss other options with you, such as Botox® injections, magnesium IV infusions, and biofeedback.

Occipital nerve block explained

When we perform an occipital nerve block, we inject a combination of an analgesic and a steroid directly into the greater and lesser occipital nerves in your neck. This block quiets the pain signaling and reduces any inflammation in the area that may be irritating the nerves.

In order for us to access the area between your second and third cervical vertebrae, you lie face down on a table. We then apply a topical numbing agent to your skin. Once you’re comfortable, we inject a needle containing the anesthetic and steroid into your occipital nerves.

When we’re done, you’re free to return home. Results vary from one patient to the next, with some reporting relief for weeks, while others enjoy months of freedom from head pain.

If you want to explore further whether an occipital nerve block may hold the key to relieving your migraine pain, contact one of our offices in Pleasant Hill, Pleasanton, or Corte Madera, California, to set up an appointment.

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