Occiptial Nerve Block

What Is an Occipital Nerve Block?

A nerve block is a procedure in which a physician administers medication to an irritated nerve in order to treat pain symptoms. An occipital nerve block is performed to manage pain that affects the back of the head or one side of the head. This includes numbness or zapping, headaches, migraines or tender scalp.

What does the procedure look like?

At Portland Pain and Spine, in order to perform the nerve block the physician administers medication by injection to the occipital nerve. Before the injection is performed, the area is numbed using local anesthetic. After the injection is performed relief is often experienced in minutes, and numbness usually immediately. If the nerve is swollen the steroids administered in the shot should relieve this pain. These steroids are long lasting, and after a few days the effect should last for months. After the procedure the patient should be able to resume normal activity, with the injection intensifying in effect over the next few days. If two weeks pass with no relief a second injection may be necessary. Additional nerve blocks may be performed for continued symptom management; however proving three or more injections within a six month period is uncommon due to the risk of side effects. As well, if the injections do not provide relief this may be proof that the occipital nerve is not the cause of symptoms. 

Request An Appointment

We want to assure our patients that Portland Pain and Spine remains open and actively managing your pain. Medication management is given the highest priority. Our relocation across the hall in the Washington building is complete but requires office renovation before we can accommodate patient visits. Staffing shortages affected our ability to communicate last month, however, this was temporary. Dr. Balog has reached out to all patients but asks that if anyone has additional questions or concerns to contact him at balog@pdxpainandspine.com.
We have updated our phone messaging system to assist with calls. There are now options to speak with a live receptionist, leave messages or speak with our new billing company. Medical record requests can be processed on our website at www.pdxpainandspine.com and are handled by Morgan Records Management. Thank you for your patience during this transition. We look forward to providing you high-quality care as we enter into 2024! 

Wishing you all a joyful holiday season.