An occipital nerve block is a procedure where a small amount of local anesthetics and steroid is injected near your occipital nerve in the back of the head. The occipital nerve supplies sensation to the skin along the back of the scalp to the top of the head.

An occipital nerve block is often performed to manage the pain that affects the back of the head or one side of the head. In addition, occipital nerve block may part of the treatment for specific types of headaches.

All injections are performed under fluoroscopy (x-ray) guidance.

What can you expect after the injection?

The full effect of the steroids may not be felt for two or three days. Their effect is more long lasting, sometimes weeks or months.

After the injection, a patient can usually drive home and return to normal daily activities the following day. The effects of the local anesthetic may wear off in a few hours, but the effects of the steroid begin to increase over the next several days.

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