Negative side effects of nerve blocks for Migraines?

Health Professional

Full Question:

I have been a migraine sufferer for 30+ years. I was having more than 15 headache days a month. What are the negative side effects of nerve blocks and if you do have one of the side effects what are your options?

I am seeing a headache specialist and have had 3 nerve blocks. The first two gave some relief but this last one has increased the migraines to daily and and 24 hour pain at the injection sites.

Is this a common side effect and what alternative steps could I take. Cathy.

Full Answer:

Dear Cathy;

I've performed thousands of occipital blocks over the years. There are literally 7-10 ways to do them. Fortunately, I had the privilege of training with some ultra high-grade and internationally famous interventional anesthesiologists. The negative side effects of nerve blocks are mainly due to the steroid component and sometimes to which anesthetic agent is also used. The Brits don't use steroids and claim equal results to studies published here.

I really don't think the 3rd block made the Migraine pattern worse; it may just have been done at a time when the pattern was to become increased, regardless of any blocks. And, often blocks "quit," which is why we do them judiciously and not repeat them too often in a row.
I hope this answers your question.

Good luck,
John Claude Krusz

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