Nerve Blocks for Alleviating Migraine Pain: All Your Questions Answered

nerve blocks, migraine, pain, South Lake Pain Institute

Nearly everyone gets headaches at some point in their lives, but migraine is not the same as other types of headache. It’s a debilitating neurological disorder with recognized subtypes and phases. If you have migraine, you’re likely familiar with the four phases of a migraine, which include:

How nerve blocks work

Nerve blocks are used to treat numerous types of pain, and in some cases are appropriate for migraine pain. If your pain arises from your neck or the base of your skull, it’s called a cervicogenic headache. Your occipital nerves are at the base of your skull.

Experts think that migraine pain could be due to inflammation or irritation of the occipital nerve. Another possibility is that your occipital nerves serve as the main thoroughfare along which pain signals are involved in migraine travel. Interrupting the travel of those pain signals may stop your migraine pain.

If you have a nerve block to alleviate your migraine pain, your doctor at South Lake Pain Institute will inject medication into the area where your occipital nerves lie. The medication includes an anesthetic and likely an anti-inflammatory drug.

Although you may feel some discomfort at first, the pain relief usually begins within 15 minutes or so. If this treatment approach works for you, the relief can last anywhere from a day to several weeks, or even months.

Is it dangerous?

The risk of complications with an occipital nerve block is quite rare when your healthcare provider is highly trained and experienced, as all of the providers at South Lake Pain Institute are. You may feel some temporary numbness, and in very rare instances, you may experience temporary difficulty in speaking or swallowing.

Studies have shown that nerve blocks are safe to use to treat migraine in pregnant women and children.

When is a nerve block appropriate?

Not every treatment is right for every patient, and nerve blocks are no exception. There are a few situations in which a nerve block may be the most appropriate treatment.

If your migraine pain is mostly controlled through the use of onabotulinum toxin A injections, but you find that the pain returns in the week or two before your next injection, a nerve block may help bridge the gap.

There are many reasons you may want to reduce your use of acute medications, but doing so can make the pain worse. Nerve blocks may help in such a situation.

You’re unique and an effective migraine pain management plan is tailored specifically to you. The physicians at South Lake Pain Institute individualize every treatment plan to meet your personal needs, goals, medical history, and circumstances.

If you’d like to learn more about nerve blocks and find out if it may be a good treatment for your migraine pain, book an appointment online or by phone at South Lake Pain Institute today!

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