Nerve blocks for headaches

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by mollyq, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. mollyq

    mollyq New Member

    I have had daily headaches for many years. My new PM doc wants to try a series of nerve blocks, starting with occipital. Has anyone had experience with this? I asked her a lot of questions, but I am still afraid of someone sticking needles into my head. That said, I'm willing to try anything at this point!


  2. jbennett2

    jbennett2 New Member

    and I've heard of them but don't know much about them. If they work - let me know. I have had chronic daily headache for almost 30 years! Nothing helps; even tried Botox injections.
  3. amberini

    amberini New Member

    I had a serious car accident that left alot of damage in my neck 12 years ago.
    I had alot of headaches some terribly painful. They were life limiting.
    I didn't think there was anything I could do about any of this until recently I visited my orthopaedist and he discovered my neck situation was serious.

    I went to a pain anesthesia center and eventually had a procedure that destroys the nerve that was causing all the problems.

    The morning of the procedure, I had a major headache. After the procedure, the headache was immmediately gone.
    Now its been since late June and I occasionaly have what would be considered a normal headache. I can live with that.

    Do your research and ask questions. Only you and your doctor can tell if its right for you.
  4. Bailey-smom

    Bailey-smom New Member

    I have had a procedure done called a lumbar radiofrequency (because it was done on my back) to stop the pain from continuing through the nerves. It just stuns the nerves and lasts around 15 months or so. I know there are people that have had it done to help with headaches as well.

  5. Hiya1974

    Hiya1974 New Member

    Hi Molly,

    I have 8 herniated discs throughout my spine, 4 of which are in my cervical spine. I have been going through series of injections (occipital, facet, transforaminal)since November of last year, and i have had success with pain relief. I have had bilateral occipital blocks and have found that this has made my headaches more mild and tolerable, there are even days when i am actually headache free.

    My physician offers IV sedation (twilight) for the procedure. I have had it done with and without sedation, but i recc having it WITH.

    Good Luck
  6. mollyq

    mollyq New Member

    to those who answered. Does anyone else know about nerve blocks? Especially to the head?


  7. mollyq

    mollyq New Member

    I'm having this done on Thursday and I'm scared. Any words of wisdom?


  8. LollieBoo

    LollieBoo New Member

    I had an occipital nerve block done, and with narration- that was the worst part! The neurologist was explaining every move he made to a PAC, and so, it went like this:

    "First we have to make sure we have found the correct nerve- does this hurt?"
    Me: Ow!
    "Okay, that's where we want to be, so I will insert the needle... and you'll notice it is a very long needle, because we have to get all the way to the occipital region- or as close as possible without penetrating the skull! (He actually laughed here, then thought to reassure me...) The whole needle won't be in there- only about this much." (I still thought it was too much and DID NOT want to know!)
    "okay, now I need you to relax and let your head fall forward- you will feel a stick... now."
    Actually, that part was not so bad... it was just holding still and then hearing a sort of grinding noise that made me quiver...
    "Now you'll push the needle all the way in until you feel the base of the skull." (so THAT's what that was-- I didn;t want to hear confirmation- I'd rather have not known!)
    "Once you know you are touching the skull, you need to pull back just a little bit, because that's where the nerve rests."
    Then he proceeded to remind me that because there was lidocaine in the mixture, along with a steroid, that I may feel numb back there until it wore off, but by then the steroid may have become effective.

    SO: I did experience relief. For a short time... not enough to go through that again! I actually think I benefitted most from the lidocaine part- is that possible? Anyway, that is only my experience, and I think my narrative is probably a little fictionalized, because it is truly my perception!

    Good Luck, there are many people for whom it is successful- I do think it is worth a try once at least... especially if you have pain located along the occipital nerve. I might suggest asking the doctor to forgo any narrative- or get that sedative mentioned above!

    Take care,
  9. Dara

    Dara New Member

    block, but my daughter had them. She thought the first one helped a little, but she had two more that didn't seem to help so she stopped having them.

    My husband had daily headaches for many years. Then his hands and forearms started going numb, he went to a neurologist because he thought he had carpul tunnel.

    As it turned out, he had spinal stenosis and his spinal cord had pressure on it because of the narrowing of the vertabrae.

    The doctor told him that day, no more working until after surgery. They were worried that if he had an accident or fell, he could have become paralyzed.

    Have you had a CT scan of your cervical spine done? That was how they found out about his spinal stenosis.

  10. joisey

    joisey New Member

    i've had a Rhyzotomy for the occipital nerve last Dec. i'm still pain free. you will have to tell the dr when you feel some pain as he puts the needle in. it is tolerable. feels like pressure and burning but you will be able to tolerate it.

    it last for maybe 20 sec. it was done on cervical spine c3&4/4&5/5&6. after the 1st needle the second and third needle are not as painful. this is done with a numbing solution. the dr did not describe the procedure as he was performing it.

    i was taped from shoulders to feet to the table as you are not allowed to move. my neck was bruised and somewhat sore for a few days. it was definetly worth having done. i would do it again.

    the epidural was not painful but did not help me. the facet block was the same. hope this helps.
  11. mollyq

    mollyq New Member

    I had the nerve block done today and it was not at all painful. She injected the side of my head instead of occipital because of where the pain was.

    Now I have to wait a while to see if it works. I'll keep you posted.

    Thanks for the support!