Who Gets Headaches & Migraines?
According the World Health Organization, “globally it has been estimated that 50% of adults currently have a headache disorder (symptomatic at least once within the last year). Half to three quarters of adults aged 18-65 years in the world have had a headache in the last year and, among those individuals, 30% or more have reported a migraine.”
Fast Headache Relief
Frequently patients with chronic headaches report that their pain stems from the neck or base of their skull. The pain will often arise on one side of the base of the skull and extend to the temple or across the forehead. These are termed cervicogenic headaches.
According to the American Migraine Foundation when the occipital nerves are inflamed or irritated, they act as “major on-ramps to the superhighway upon which the pain signal travels which produce migraines and other types of headaches.” Occipital nerve blocks work by blocking the pain signal to alleviate the headache.
How Long Does An Occipital Procedure Take?
Occipital nerve blocks are a quick and fairly simple procedure done in the outpatient setting that only takes about 2-3 minutes. While performing an occipital nerve block we will use a small needle to inject local anesthetic into the area surrounding the nerves. The procedure is relatively painless; however, some may feel temporary discomfort with the infusion of the solution. The patient should have no problem driving afterwards and can carry on with their day per usual.
How Long Does The Headache Relief Last?
Often patients will feel the pain relief immediately following the procedure; however, it can take up to 15 minutes. The duration of pain relief varies widely from person to person and can last anywhere from a day to months.
Complications from occipital nerve blocks are rare. Patients may experience temporary numbness over the regions supplied by the occipital nerves as they are sensory nerves but very quickly, the pain of a headache will subside.
If you are suffering from chronic headaches or migraines schedule a consult with our Physician Assistant today! 480-892-0022