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    Greater and Lesser Occipital Nerve Block

    The occipital nerves consist of the greater and lesser occipital nerves in the neck vertebrae. These give sensation to the back of your scalp to the top of your head. When nerves are irritated, you’ll feel pain on the base of your skull, the back of your eyes, and the front and sides of your head (a.k.a. cervicogenic headaches).

    What is greater and lesser occipital nerve block?

    Greater and lesser occipital nerve block involves administering anesthesia and steroids to these nerves for pain relief. This reduces the inflammation for a few weeks to a few months, allowing the nerves to heal. 

    This procedure also reduces side effects of taking medications orally, which can spread to body parts where it’s not needed.

    Who is a candidate for greater and lesser occipital nerve block?

    This procedure can help patients who are experiencing:

    • Pain (e.g. zapping, stinging, shooting, or burning sensations) at the back or one side of their heads
    • Cluster headaches or migraines
    • Cervical osteoarthritis
    • Tender or painful scalp

    How is greater and lesser occipital nerve block performed?

    The entire process is usually done within a few minutes. You’ll be awake and seated upright, but will receive local anesthesia to numb the back of your head.

    Steroids will then be injected into the area. You’ll feel its full effect within the next couple of days which can last for weeks or months.

    Is greater and lesser occipital nerve block right for you?

    An occipital nerve block may be right for you if you are experiencing occipital and cervicogenic headaches. Get in touch with our expert pain management doctor at Torrance Pain Institute, so we can discuss your options for an occipital nerve block in Torrance.