Occipital and Peripheral Nerve Blocks
Occipital Nerve Blocks
Pain outside the spinal area is diagnosed with a peripheral nerve block, which may be inserted in the occipital nerves in the cervical area. The occipital nerves span from the base of the neck to the scalp and they may be damaged by trauma or conditions such as diabetes, neck tumors or gout. Patients may experience tenderness in the scalp, pain when moving their neck, pain radiating from the base of the head to the scalp and sensitivity to light.
Occipital nerve blocks are placed with the help of ultrasound imaging, and injected directly into the affected nerve. This minimally invasive treatment option uses corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and minimize pain. This medication is injected into the occipital nerve and provides immediate pain relief due to the anesthetic. The corticosteroid produces longer-term pain relief that typically begins a few days after the injection. Normal daily activities can usually be resumed the following day. The effectiveness of occipital nerve blocks varies from patient to patient, and pain relief may last anywhere from a few days to a few months.
Peripheral Nerve Blocks
A nerve block is a procedure used to treat or diagnose severe pain. The block is placed by injecting an anesthetic into the affected nerve to either numb the pain or determine whether the pain is coming from the nerve. If the pain is relieved when the block is injected, it can be assumed that the pain is caused by the nerve. After a diagnostic nerve block, the procedure may be repeated as a more long-term treatment method.
Nerve blocks are placed with the help of ultrasound imaging, and injected directly into the affected nerve. Pain outside the spinal area is diagnosed with a peripheral nerve block, which may be inserted in the occipital nerves in the cervical area, the ilioinguinal nerve in the pelvic area or other motor nerves. Nerve blocks are not an option for all patients and can cause serious side effects.