What Is An Occipital Nerve Block?

Chronic headaches are very prevalent. Estimates suggest that up to 5% of the global population is affected by this type of pain. For those who suffer from the worst forms of chronic head pain, an occipital nerve block can help them relieve their pain and get back to their life.

Some conditions that are treated with occipital nerve blocks include:

An occipital nerve block is a minimally invasive intervention available to patients with moderate to severe chronic neuralgia, or other type of headache associated with the occipital nerve.  These may include types of pain that start at the back of the head near the neck, and then radiate outward throughout the skull.  An occipital nerve block inhibits or blocks the disproportionate or chronic signals that are sent to the brain, processed and perceived as headache pain. Occipital nerve blocks may result in pain relief lasting up to several months, depending on the response of the individual patient to this treatment.

In the following video, a chronic pain patient talks about how occipital nerve blocks helped her get back to a normal life.


What Is The Occipital Nerve?

The greater occipital nerve runs from the top of your spinal cord up through your scalp. It travels deep into the muscles around your spine and neck. Then, it becomes superficial just below the superior nuchal line and lateral to the occipital protuberance of your skull.

The lesser occipital nerve is a terminal branch of the superficial cervical plexus. It arises from the second and third cervical nerve roots. It then travels through the muscles near your cervical spine and becomes superficial over the inferior nuchal line of the skull.

Occipital Nerve Block | PainDoctor.com

How Is An Occipital Nerve Block Performed?

An occipital