There are two occipital nerves — one on each side of the head — that help transmit feeling from the back and top of the head to the brain. They run from the top of the spinal cord at the base of the neck up through the scalp. Occipital neuralgia is a neurological condition in which these nerves become injured or inflamed.
An occipital nerve block can be used to confirm a diagnosis as well as intermittently for therapeutic relief.
This procedure is safe. However, with any procedure, there are risks, side effects and the possibility of complications. The most common side effect is temporary pain at the injection site. Other less common risks include bleeding or infection. Fortunately, serious side effects and complications are extremely uncommon.