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Occipital Nerve Blocks Mansfield TX

Occipital nerves are nerves located in the back of the head near the base of the skull. They are located close to the sub-occipital triangle between the inion and mastoid process. 

When these nerves are irritated, inflamed or injured, they can result in chronic pain and headaches. 

An occipital nerve block is a procedure whereby local anesthetic and steroids are injected into the occipital nerve area to block or numb the pain transmission. 

The local anesthetic acts as a numbing agent for pain relief while the steroids act as an anti-inflammatory agent to prevent inflammation that leads to pain.

It can be used to treat chronic headaches and occipital neuralgia.

Before the Occipital Nerve Blocks procedure

Your health care provider or doctor will review your medical history. Your previous imaging studies and current medications will also be reviewed.

You will be asked questions regarding the intensity and nature of pain you feel. 

Your doctor may conduct a physical examination of the pain area in order to observe your level of pain. 

You may need to undergo imaging scans so your doctor can view the internal structure of your head.

If you have any infection around the pain area, inform your doctor about it.

If you are currently on any medications, inform your doctor.

If you have any allergies, especially allergies to the medications that will be used for the treatment, inform your doctor.

If you are on a blood-thinning medication, you may be asked to stop taking them for a few days before taking the injection.

Arrange for someone that will drive you back home after the procedure.

Any other instructions before the procedure may be provided to you by your health care provider. 

What happens during an occipital nerve block procedure?

At the start of the procedure, you will be made to sit upright. You will need to remain awake throughout the duration of the treatment, hence no sedation is given. 

The area where the injection will be given, which is the tender area between the greater and lesser occipital nerves will be cleaned and localized with alcohol.

Your doctor will then direct a needle in a lateral, rostral direction into the area between the greater and lesser occipital nerves and then inject the medication into the area.

You may feel a stinging and burning sensation as the medication is being injected into the area. The medication includes some amount of local anesthetic and steroids.

The needle should be injected in its full length and the medication should be given slowly to ensure proper distribution of the medication.

You may feel immediate pain relief from the effect of the anesthetic used. 

The procedure takes about two to three minutes to be completed.

After the injection has been given

You will be observed for about 30 minutes and your doctor may ask you to give feedback about how you feel.

You may feel soreness at the spot where the needle was inserted.

You may feel immediate pain relief; however, you may start feeling pain again where the effect of the anesthetic starts to wear off after some hours.

The steroid normally starts to take effect after 2 to 3 days. The pain relief from the steroid lasts for a longer time period. 

You are allowed to go home after a few hours.

You are not allowed to drive within the first 24 hours after the injection.

You are required to come with someone to the clinic who will drive you back home or make an arrangement for a taxi. 

You can resume your normal daily activities the next day but do not engage in any strenuous activities.

You are not allowed to soak yourself in water or take a tub bath for the next 24 hours after the injection. 

You may be given a pain diary to record your pain relieve progress.

You may be required to keep follow-up appointments.

Any other instructions that you may follow will be given to you by your doctor or healthcare provider. 

Risks or complications of occipital nerve block

An occipital nerve block is generally a safe procedure. Side effects or complications are very rare and uncommon.

However, like every medical procedure, there are some complications or side effects that may occur.

To reduce the risk of complications or side effects, discuss any allergies, infections or health conditions you have with your doctor before the procedure.

Inform your doctor ASAP of any side effects or complications you have after the procedure.

The side effects or complications that may occur from an occipital nerve block include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Soreness at the injection site
  • Swelling or redness at the injection site
  • Chest pain 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Persistent cough
  • Neck pain
  • Fever
  • Nerve damage

Best Pain Management Physician to get  Occipital Nerve Blocks in Mansfield, TX is Dr. Rozier MD

Occipital Nerve Blocks Mansfield

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