The symptoms feel like a painful headache or migraine and include sharp, jabbing pains, a burning sensation, eye pain, neck pain, and sensitivity to light. Your scalp may feel very tender, and you may experience jolts of pain that feel like an electric shock.

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What Causes Occipital Neuralgia?

This condition can stem from an injury, entrapped nerves, or inflammation. The initial step in treatment is to attempt to identify the cause. In some cases, occipital neuralgia is associated with a health condition such as a head injury or trauma such as whiplash, neck tension, infections, damage to the cervical bones of the neck, diabetes, or the damage of osteoarthritis.

Treating Occipital Neuralgia With Nerve Blocks

At The Oasis Medical Aesthetics, our founder, Eve Du, PA-C, PhD has a background in interventional pain management and can administer nerve block treatments to bring you relief from this uncomfortable, painful condition. You may have tried various other options, such as over-the-counter pain medications, applying heat to the area, massage, or muscle relaxing medication, but are still experiencing painful symptoms. In these cases, an occipital block can be a successful solution, bringing you relief at last.

Types of Occipital Nerve Blocks

Planning your occipital nerve block requires evaluating your condition and planning an effective treatment. Depending on your symptoms, one or both nerves could be treated:

Greater occipital nerve block

The “greater occipital nerve” runs up each side of the back of the head. This treatment can be effective when the client suffers from headaches related to the inflammation or entrapment of this specific nerve. The nerve block can numb this nerve to reduce ongoing pain.

Lesser occipital nerve block

This is a branch nerve that extends from the cervical (neck area) spine. It runs at the side of the neck, the scalp, and behind the ear. This nerve can be numbed with a nerve block to bring relief from ongoing pain.

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Planning for Your Occipital Nerve Block Treatment at The Oasis Medical Aesthetics

Before your occipital nerve block, you must stop taking blood-thinning medications. We will work with your doctor in planning when you need to stop. Before your procedure, arrange for another adult to escort you home, as you will be restricted from driving for at least four hours following your treatment.

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What is the Treatment Like?

The treatment is not difficult to experience. It involves injecting a corticosteroid and local anesthetic into the targeted nerves. Once injected, pressure is applied. Our approach is to perform one occipital nerve block in the first session and follow up with the patient in two to three weeks. If necessary, further treatments can be planned at this follow-up.

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