NYU Langone headache specialists offer a procedure called a nerve block to stop the pain of an acute headache attack or to break an ongoing cycle of pain. This quick, outpatient procedure is used as an acute treatment, which is one that is given during a pain episode, when you are in need of immediate relief. It works by targeting several nerves that are involved in the production of headache pain.
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Your doctor injects small amounts of one or two numbing medicines into the area around the affected nerve to block pain signals. These nerves may be at the back of the head, in front of the ear, or over the eyebrows. Nerve blocks can relieve pain within a few minutes and the beneficial effects can last days to weeks.
A nerve block is a temporary treatment for severe cluster headaches or chronic migraines, among other types of headaches. It is often recommended when other medications do not relieve symptoms.
Nerve blocks are performed on an as-needed basis. Your doctor can determine whether this is an appropriate treatment for your symptoms.
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