Occipital nerve block

anybody had this done and noticed any difference or was able to reduce medication?

Little confused how lyrica would amplify symptoms or what he said. I have had those shots, which for me were very expensive, until I met my deductible on the health insurance. They seemed to help some, but not at all completely; and only with the neck pain. L

Interesting that I’ve never come across this procedure on here before. After googling it, it appears that the typical injection point is indeed the centre of my main headache/neck pain. I’m wondering now why none of the medical professionals I’ve seen have suggested this as a possible treatment option when it seems to be quite a common procedure? Is this not so common in he UK?

I believe the majority of my issues stem from occipital neuritis. I have had occipital nerve blocks at the spinal level (in the neck between c2 and c3) several times a year with excellent outcomes as far as dizziness. Unfortunately, I had some scary issues after my last block that left me concerned to undergo the procedure again.

I have done lots of reading and thinking regarding the connection between the occipital nerve and vestibular migraine-type symptoms. For me, my issues started after sustaining either trauma to the occipital nerve itself (stretching… such as in whiplash scenario) or damage to muscle tissue surrounding the occipital nerve in back of head that “clamps down” or otherwise irritates the ON that runs through the muscle.

My theory is that irritation to the occipital nerve can communicate with many other nerves running in the general vicinity of the ON by a known mechanism called nerve “cross-talk.” The gist is that irritability of one nerve can transfer/refer to another nerve, causing this second nerve to be excited and firing inapprorpriately as well. In my case, I suspect the ON has transferred irritability to the various trigeminal nerve branches on the same side as the ON damage, as well as to the auriculotemporal nerve. There are tiny muscles in the middle ear that branch off one of the sections of the trigeminal nerve. These middle ear muscles attach to the eustachian tube. In addition, there is a branch of the auriculotemporal nerve that connects to the eardrum and ear canal. So many of my symptoms (ear fullness, tinnitus, disequilibrium, stabbing ear pain, pain in teeth, twitching eye, sensations in cheek, pressure in head, clicking sound in ear, dilated pupil, red eye, etc.) can be explained by the transference of irritability to the respective nerves.

I have been in contact with many people with ON on another forum who complain of nerve irritability beyond the primary occipital nerve issue. I suspect cross-talk is the reason. Many of these folks with ON also experience disequilibrium/vertigo/dizziness, trigeminal pain, tinnitus, ear fullness and stabbing ear pain.

There is so much more I would like to contribute regarding this, but I am short on time at the moment. I am not saying that everyone with VM symptoms has problems that originate with the occipital nerve or would respond to an ON block. However, if one has creeping crawly sensations, burning/cold, pain or pressure sensations in the pathway of one of the occipital nerves (google the pathway), it might be worthwhile to discuss an ON block with a neurologist. (I’ve had much more success with the third occipital nerve block done at the spinal level than the more ordinary injections done in the back of the head.)

I have wondered if there are people with true cases of migraine who have involvement of one or more branches of the trigeminal nerve. If so, that could explain the overlap in symptoms between trigeminal nerve irritability caused by migraine and the same caused by cross-talk from occipital nerve irritability. In other words, several pathways that result in the same end nerve/area involvement.

Hi KL,

How are you doing? Have you continued with the occipital/spinal injections? I am sure my issues are mostly stemming from my neck (since they all began after stretching/PT to my neck) and reading your posts about the injections gave me some hope (until you wrote taht you stopped them due to a scary experience).

Could you update us?