Interventional techniques for headaches

Eli Soto, Valeriya Bobr, Joseph A. Bax

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Primary headaches can become quite severe and incapacitating for patients that suffer from them. The management could be challenging even in the hands of experienced physicians. Once the headaches become refractory to pharmacologic management, the use of interventional techniques including peripheral nerve block can be a feasible option to achieve pain relief, and decrease the intensity and frequency of headache. Multiple studies have demonstrated that peripheral nerve blocks are safe and effective for the treatment of a variety of headaches disorders, including migraine, cluster, tension-type headaches, and cervicogenic, among others. These techniques not only provide adequate analgesia but can also help decrease systemic side effects from pharmacologic therapy. They can be performed in patients with comorbidities that preclude them from adequate pharmacologic therapy. The small number of adverse events that have been reported from these procedures make them an attractive therapeutic alternative in the management of primary headaches. In this article, we provide an overview of the most common interventional techniques used for headache treatment and review the literature supporting their efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-40
Number of pages11
JournalTechniques in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Auriculotemporal nerve block
  • Greater occipital nerve block
  • Radiofrequency neurotomy
  • Sphenopalatine ganglion block
  • Supraorbital nerve block
  • Supratrochlear nerve block
  • Third occipital nerve block
  • Zygapophyseal joint


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