Occipital Nerve Block

Occipital Nerve Block Procedures

Offered in East Orange and Newark, NJ

The greater and lesser occipital nerves are located at the base of the skull and back of the head. They are mostly responsible for any feelings or sensations people experience in the top or back of their heads, and when they become irritated or inflamed, the result may be migraines, headaches, and other conditions causing intermittent or chronic head pain. Located in Newark, New Jersey, Dr. Maria Cabodevilla-Conn, a board-certified and fellowship-trained Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physician (PM&R), offers a solution to patients in these situations through occipital nerve block treatment at Prospect Spine and Pain (PSP).

What Is an Occipital Nerve Block?

In this procedure, a combination of steroids and pain-relieving medications are injected directly into the patient’s greater and lesser occipital nerves. The treatment is reserved for patients with chronic head pain from Occipital neuralgia. This headache disorder is caused by inflammation of the greater and/or lesser occipital nerves and categorized by intense shooting pain in the following areas:

  • At the base of the head and goes to the scalp
  • In the back of the head and neck
  • Pain on one or both sides of the head
  • Pain behind the eye

About the Procedure

Before approving an occipital nerve block procedure for our patients, Dr. Maria Cabodevilla-Conn utilizes state-of-the-art medical imaging and physical examination techniques to pinpoint the true cause of the patient’s chronic head pain, as well as rule out whether symptoms indicate a condition warranting another type of treatment.

If Dr. Maria Cabodevilla-Conn determines this quick, simple procedure is appropriate for you or a loved one, some patients may prefer to have a ride home while others opt to wait 15-20 minutes to assess for any post-procedure pain or discomfort, and then when deemed appropriate they drive themselves home. She will administer the occipital nerve block with the following steps:

  1. The patient will be asked to lie face down.
  2. An anesthetic will be applied to the back of the head.
  3. An extremely thin needle is inserted to surround the greater and/or lesser occipital nerve(s).
  4. Numbing, pain-relieving medication is then injected into the nerve(s).

An occipital nerve block procedure takes just minutes to complete, and most patients experience no side effects and can return to normal activities the same day. Some patients report immediate pain relief, though the full effects of the treatment will appear over the following days. Results will vary depending on the individual’s condition, overall health, and other factors, but many have experienced pain relief lasting for months at a time.

Learn More about Occipital Nerve Block Procedures

If you or a loved one is living with chronic head pain due to migraines, cluster headaches, or other conditions, Dr. Maria Cabodevilla-Conn is standing by to help. For more information about occipital nerve block procedures or our Newark, NJ practice, contact Prospect Spine and Pain (PSP) today.