There are 2 greater occipital nerves that are located on each side of the head, beginning at the base of the skull and continuing down much of the spine. When the nerves have become inflamed, burning, stinging, and shooting pains can occur. A greater occipital nerve root block is administered to reduce the frequency and severity of the nerve pain. Using a needle, small amounts of steroids and a local anesthetic are injected into the greater occipital nerves. The procedure takes less than 30 minutes and is often performed under flouroscopy, or live x-ray.
On the day of the injection, do not drive and avoid doing any strenuous activities. Everyday activities can be resumed whenever you are ready, but it is best to avoid strenuous activity for several days.