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Greater Occipital Nerve Block: A Comprehensive Guide to Pain Relief

Scott Loeb DO
Medically reviewed by Dr. Loeb
Scott Loeb DO
Medically reviewed by Dr. Loeb

Welcome to “Greater Occipital Nerve Block Guide.” This text discusses an innovative approach to relieving debilitating head and neck pain. And it will help you with the technique of blocking the greater occipital nerve (GON). Painful sensations can significantly impair a person’s quality of life. The GONB procedure has become recognized as an effective method of pain management. Therefore, relief has become possible.

This guide is a valuable source of information. Medical professionals? Or do you wish to gain a deeper understanding of GONB? We will look, in principle, at its performance, indications, and other details. Either way, find the possibilities of occipital nerve blockade. Discover a future of reduced pain and improved well-being.

What Is the Occipital Nerve Block Procedure

An occipital nerve block procedure is a medical intervention. Doctors use it to relieve pain in people who suffer from it. The occipital nerves are located at the base of the skull. They are crucial in transmitting sensory information from the back of the head and neck to the brain.

During a GONB procedure, a medical professional injects a local anesthetic. It is usually administered by an anesthesiologist or pain management specialist. Additionally, the doctor may inject a corticosteroid directly around the greater occipital nerve. This targeted injection helps interrupt pain signal transmission along the nerve pathway. It will provide effective relief for patients. If patients are experiencing persistent neck or head pain, it will no longer be present.

The doctor usually performs the procedure on an outpatient basis. The patient will experience minimal discomfort. Before the injection, the doctor thoroughly cleans the injection site. They may use ultrasound or other imaging techniques to insert the needle precisely.

Patients typically experience varying degrees of pain relief. They often have quick results that last for weeks or months. Doctors may recommend repeated occipital nerve block techniques for permanent relief. But this depends on the patient’s response and the nature of their condition.

Importantly, the occipital nerve block procedure involves certain risks. But in fact, any medical intervention can provoke certain problems. In equal cases, the doctor is guided by your reaction.

Benefits and Potential Applications of Occipital Nerve Blocks

The occipital nerve block technique has several advantages. It has a variety of applications in the treatment and relief of pain. Some of the main advantages and ways of e application we can include:

  • Pain relief. It is the main benefit of the occipital nerve block. It can provide significant pain relief. If you suffer from chronic headaches, this will help you. These injections interrupt the transmission of pain signals along the occipital measures. They can bring the relief that patients need.
  • Non-invasiveness. An occipital nerve block is a minimally invasive procedure. It means patients can avoid the risks associated with more complex solutions.
  • Elimination of systemic medications. If you are someone who doesn’t respond well to pain medications, this option is definitely for you. The blockade is a targeted alternative. It reduces the need for extensive use of medications.
  • Diagnostic tool. This method can also serve as a diagnostic tool. It can help determine the source of head and neck pain. Does the patient experience a temporary urge for pain after injections? It may confirm that the occipital nerves are involved in the pain pathway.
  • Improved quality of life. The greater occipital nerve block provides an increase in quality of life. All because the person no longer feels debilitating headaches and migraines. It means he will be more comfortable in his daily activities.
  • Complement to other treatments. Doctors can use this procedure in combination with other treatments. For example, you can use the blockade with physical or drug therapy.
  • Repeat treatments. Patients can safely receive the next dose of the blockade after some time. In doing so, the blockade will provide a sustained reduction in pain symptoms.

However, remember that it is important for you to consult a qualified professional. It is the only way you will be able to determine if the occipital nerve block procedure is the right treatment option for you.

Greater occipital nerve block: techniques

Technique of the Greater Occipital Nerve Block

The technique of the procedure offers a precise and careful approach. It should ensure that medications that prescribed accurately. Below we give an overview of the procedure:

  • Positioning of the patient. Typically, the physician will suggest that the patient sit or lie face down. It provides comfort and access to the injection site.
  • Cleaning the injection site. Healthcare providers sterilize the skin around the base of the skull. Here you’ll find the greater occipital nerve.
  • Local anesthesia. The doctor will use a local anesthetic to anesthetize the injection site. It will reduce discomfort during the occipital nerve block technique.
  • Needle insertion. The doctor will insert a thin needle near the greater occipital nerve. They often use ultrasound for this.
  • Insertion of the medication. After properly positioning the needle, the doctor injects a mixture of local anesthetics. In some cases, the doctor may add a corticosteroid.
  • Observation. For a short period, doctors observe the patient. This way, they can make sure there are no adverse reactions.

The occipital nerve block procedure usually takes only a few minutes. Shortly afterward, patients can return to their normal activities. Relief from head and neck pain comes after a few hours. This effect usually lasts for several weeks. But the holistic result depends on the individual patient.

Indications and Efficacy of Occipital Nerve Blocks

Doctors may prescribe occipital nerve block to people who suffer from chronic headaches. If a person has a migraine or occipital neuralgia, an occipital nerve block will help. These conditions may be resistant to traditional pain treatments. Therefore, a greater occipital nerve block is a valuable alternative.

Doctors have documented the effectiveness of the block. It provides significant relief for many patients. Studies have shown that blockade can significantly reduce the severity and intensity of headaches. The non-invasive nature of the procedure makes it safe for people with problems.

The occipital nerve blockade has proven effective for many people. However, the degree of pain relief and its duration may vary from patient to patient. First and foremost, the patient needs to consult with a medical professional. It will help determine the appropriateness of this method depending on the patient’s condition.

Occipital nerve blocks: risks and side effects

Risks and Side Effects of Occipital Nerve Blocks

Yes, the occipital nerve block technique is generally safe. However, there are potential risks and side effects. These may be associated with this procedure. We can include:

  • Infection at the injection site. Rare, but this risk exists. If the doctor is incompetent, the patient can get an infection.
  • Allergic reactions. Some people may experience allergic reactions to medications.
  • Temporary numbness or weakness. A local anesthetic may cause temporary numbness or weakness in the surrounding area.
  • Bruising or bleeding. A small bruise may appear if it is difficult to insert the needle. Usually, Patients get over these problems quickly.
  • Exacerbation of pain. Occasionally, an occipital nerve block may not provide the desired pain relief. It depends on the body’s response.

As with any medical procedure, discussing possible risks and side effects with your healthcare provider before undergoing an occipital nerve block is important.

Conclusion

In conclusion, greater occipital nerve block is a promising and effective method. Due to its non-invasiveness and minimal side effects, it has become a popular option. It brings meaningful relief and improves the overall quality of life of patients.

This procedure is constantly being improved. Therefore, doctors are unlocking the potential of occipital nerve blockade more and more each time. Patients can get respite from centurial pain and enter the future feeling better.

If you are ready to eliminate debilitating pain, contact our clinic. Lone Star Neurology offers our patients the most advanced and safe options available. With our skilled and caring staff, you’ll forget what pain feels like. Schedule an appointment soon, and return to your normal life without pain.

FAQ

What is a greater occipital nerve block?

An occipital nerve blockade is a medical procedure that involves injecting medication into the area of the occipital nerve. It helps relieve chronic head and neck pain.

How is the occipital nerve block procedure performed?

A physician performs the occipital nerve block procedure. He injects a local anesthetic around the greater occipital nerve.

Is the greater occipital nerve block technique different from other nerve block procedures?

Yes, a large occipital nerve block technique is specific to the occipital nerves. It makes it different from other nerve block procedures.

How long does the pain relief from occipital nerve blocks last?

Relief after an occipital nerve block can vary. But the duration can be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Some patients may retain the feeling for a longer period.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been prepared.read more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well together.read more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your business.read more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any cookies.read more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going there.read more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my treatment.read more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to finish.read more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 stars.read more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his staff.read more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best treatment.read more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my doctor.read more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding solutions.read more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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