An occipital nerve block is an injection of local anesthetic and an anti-inflammatory agent around the greater and lesser occipital nerves that are located on the back of the head, just above the neck area.* The anti-inflammatory medication reduces the inflammation and swelling of tissue around the occipital nerves.* This may, in turn, reduce pain and other symptoms caused by the inflammation or irritation of the nerves and surrounding structures.* Typically, headaches over the back of the head, including certain types of tension headaches and migraine headaches, may respond to occipital nerve blocks.*
The immediate pain relief effect is usually from the local anesthetic injected.* This wears off in a few hours. The anti-inflammatory starts working in 3 to 5 days and its effect can last for several days to a few months.* If you respond well to the injections, your doctor may recommend additional injections if the symptoms return.*
*Individual results may vary.