Occipital nerve injections are safe, relatively simple, and temporary procedures that help diagnose and treat certain kinds of head pain.
Occipital nerves travel from your neck to the back of your head and scalp. An injection of local anesthetic and, at times, steroid medication can temporarily reduce headaches caused by muscle spasm and tension.
The best candidates for occipital nerve injections are patients with one-sided head pain that occurs predominately at the back of the head. Patients with the “nerve-like” shooting or burning pain of occipital neuralgia generally respond best. Although in some cases, patients with migraines, cluster headaches, and several other conditions that cause the scalp to become tender have also been receptive to occipital nerve injections.