The greater occipital block procedure is used to treat Occipital Neuralgia (illustrated in the video above), which is the irritation and/or injury of the occipital nerves located in the base of the skull and throughout the scalp. Symptoms of Occipital Neuralgia may include a distinct headache, severe pain and/or muscle spasms. The occipital nerves are injected with an anesthetic to block pain sensations.
What are the side effects or risks associated with a greater occipital nerve block?
Generally, a greater occipital nerve block is a safe and effective treatment. As with any minimally invasive medical procedure, there are risks, side effects and possible complications that you’ll want to discuss with your SpineOne physician before treatment is administered. The potential side effects of a occipital nerve block are uncommon and may include:
Soreness and bruising where the needle was injected
Potential infection at the injection point
Allergic reaction to the contrast dye or steroid
Pain for a temporary time
What is injected into the occipital nerves?
A local anesthetic like lidocaine or bupivacaine may typically be used. Corticosteriod may or may not be used in this procedure depending on physician preference.
Is there any reason not to have this procedure?
Your physician will not prescribe this procedure unless he/she believes it is the best course of action for your wellness. This being said, make sure you tell your physician if you have any types of allergies (especially to any steroids or anesthetics); are on blood-thinning medication; or have an active infection as you get closer to the scheduled day.
Can I go to work the next day?
Unless there were complications because of the procedure, you should return to work the next day. You may still feel sore from the injection point or if the facet joint was not identified as the source of your back pain.
Location and Hours
8500 Park Meadows Drive, Suite 200
Lone Tree, CO 80124