Occipital Nerve Block (ONB)
What is an Occipital Nerve Block (ONB)?
An Occiptal Nerve Block (ONB) is an injection of local anesthetic medication next to the greater and lesser occipital nerves, which are located just beneath the scalp in the back of the head. Since these nerves are superficial, just below the skin. This block does not involve brain surgery. This type of injection blocks both the greater and lesser occipital nerves, and is useful in diagnosing and treating a condition known as occipital neuralgia. When treating occipital neuralgia or various other painful conditions, a steroid medication is added to the local anesthetic medication. The block may be done on either the left or right side of the back of the head, or both as indicated. The goal of this procedure is to relieve or reduce pain in the back of the head in the scalp. If you respond to the first injection, you may require repeat injections. Usually, a series of such injections is needed to treat the problem. Some patients may need two or 3 injections, and others may require more. Response to this type of injection will be individual. However, patients who are treated earlier in the course of their illness, tend to respond better than those who have this treatment after 6 months of experiencing symptoms.