What is an occipital nerve block?
An occipital nerve block is a type of injection by pain doctors San Diego using steroids or other medications around the occipital nerves which are located on the back part of the head, right above the neck.
What does the occipital nerve block do?
The occipital nerve block is a type of steroid injection used to reduce swelling or inflammation of tissue around your occipital nerves. This can help to reduce pain and any other symptoms which might be caused by inflammation or irritation in your nerves or surrounding structures. In many cases, headaches in the back part of the head, including tension headaches and regular migraines can be alleviated with the use of occipital nerve block
How long does the process take?
This process takes a few minutes at a pain clinic in San Diego for the actual injection.
What is injected?
With an occipital nerve block, the injection contains a local anesthetic used to numb the pain and a steroid medication intended to allow the anesthetic to work for a longer period of time.
Does this process hurt?
The occipital nerve block involves a large needle which is inserted by a pain doctor in San Diego into your deeper tissue. It is this which causes the most amount of pain for patients. The skin and the deeper tissue through which the occipital nerve block will be inserted are numbed though, before the procedure, using a local anesthetic. This will help to alleviate any discomfort felt during the procedure. In this case, patients do not require general anesthesia, but rather, they use the local anesthetic.
How is the process performed?
This process is performed at a pain clinic in San Diego with the patient either lying down or in the sitting position. The skin and any hair on the back of the head will be cleaned using antiseptic after which the injection itself will be performed.
What is to be expected after the occipital nerve block?
Immediately after the occipital nerve block you will feel as though your pain is entirely gone, but this is likely due to the anesthetic. This will wear off after a few hours. Once that is done, you may feel sore for a day or two, the result of the mechanical process used to insert the needle. One the third day you will begin to feel pain relief.
What can I do after the procedure?
After the occipital nerve block you should rest. Many patients are able to drive themselves home from the pain clinic San Diego but it is advised that patients remains in the resting area for several hours directly after the procedure before doing this. You might benefit from applying ice to the affected area. You are able to perform whatever activity thereafter that you can tolerate. Unless you had complications during the procedure you should be able to go back to work the day after the occipital nerve block. The most common problem immediately after is a sore feeling at the incision site.
How long will the medication last?
The medication in the occipital nerve block will begin to work after three days and the effects can last up to a few months.