National Migraine Centre
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Has anyone tried greater occiptal nerve block injections for migraine prevention?

My migraines have got much worse this year and I am now having on average one a week. I had an appt at the NMC yesterday and they suggested I try these injections - preventative supplements and medication haven't worked so far. I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has tried them and whether they were helpful?


6 Replies

Hi Monica, I've had nerve blocks over the years with varying degrees of success and the first thing I'd say is that you should definitely give it a go! I started having them again in January - when I was basically getting a migraine every day and then had 8 days with no migraine and it broke the cycle I was in. As with every migraine preventative I've found they work differently for everyone but the big, big plus is that compared to medications the side effects (for me) are basically none! It is quite painful the first time but the whole thing does only last about 10 minutes. I actually keep meaning to write a proper blog about this. I like to think of them as a road block - it's obviously not a magic fix all - but is a huge barrier against migraine. I'm now having them every two months along with other treatments and think it's contributing to my steady improvement. In the past they sometimes seemed to have no effect but this time around they have been life savers - so what's there to lose! Happy to answer any more specific questions you may have. Good luck!


hi monica, i have them for about 3 years and they have completely changed my life. you get clear heads with lowered sensitvity to sound, smell and lights. the side effects are that the steroids are not topical and do have long term problems. the main one being the affect the pituitary gland and as with all steroids you are at risk of osteoperosis. the migraine clinics do now prescribe a calcium supplement along side to lower the risk of osteroperosis. i would certainly give it a go and take the calcium supplements along side. good luck.


I have had 8 GON.. over the past years the first couple worked and broke my cycle from daily to bi monthly .. but after that they ceased working i would recomend trying them as everything is different for every one .. .

i wish you succes and have my fingers crossed they will work for you



Thank you all so much for your replies. It's really encouraging to hear that they have been helpful, and while I know they may not work for everyone, it is certainly worth a try! I just need something to break this cycle my body has got into after a really bad bout of flu in Jan. Even though my migraines are (usually) controlled by the triptans and not as painful as they used to be, it really gets me down having them so often.

Has anyone received them on the NHS or have you had to pay for them? As it's part of the NMC I'm having to pay, which I'm happy to do if there's a chance it helps! But in the long term it would be difficult.

I've booked in for my first injection on 19th Oct. I'll let you know how I get on :)


Hi Monica

I had one a couple of years ago. It didn't really work for me - I have had good results with botox though. However, I just wanted to let you know not to worry about the procedure. It sounds horrible but wasn't too bad. I've had a couple of other nerve blocks in other places as well - they warned me that the pain can get worse before it gets better (true in my case). I'm not trying to put you off at all, just want to know not to panic if things don't get better straight away.

I really hope this works for you. Not long to go now.


Thanks Teadrinker, it's good to know more about ithe procedure. Have had to delay my appt due to injurring my ankle, but hoping to have it next month.


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