The greater and lesser occipital nerves run from the top of the cervical spine in the neck to the back and sides of the head. When these nerves are pinched or put under pressure, they can cause neck and head pain, including cluster headaches and migraines. One option for reducing this chronic pain condition is the use of occipital nerve blocks. We offer injection therapy at Hanowell Spine Clinic, including the use of anti-inflammatory injections for occipital nerve pain.
Causes of Occipital Nerve Irritation
There are many different conditions that put pressure on the occipital nerves. Muscle tension in the neck can confine the nerves, causing irritation. Cervical spine problems may also be the source of occipital nerve irritation. This could include arthritis, injuries and degenerative diseases that impact the vertebrae and discs in the neck, causing inflammation that impacts the lesser and greater occipital nerves.
Migraine and Cluster Headache Pain Relief
Occipital nerve blocks may offer relief from cluster headaches and migraines that are caused by irritation of the occipital nerves. Our spine specialists use an x-ray guided injection to deliver a local anesthetic and steroid to the precise area of inflammation in the neck or back of the head to relieve pressure on the occipital nerves. The local anesthetic offers quick pain relief for a few hours. The steroid injection usually requires 2-3 days to become effective, reducing inflammation and offering pain relief.
Migraines, cluster headaches and localized head pain near the occipital nerves can impact your quality of life. Relieving pressure on the occipital nerves could offer you relief and control localized head pain. Contact Hanowell Spine Clinic to schedule an exam and consultation to discuss your symptoms. You may be a candidate for occipital nerve blocks to give you pain relief.