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cervical medial branch block & occipital nerve block

Does anyone have experience with the cervical medial branch block procedure? Did it provide relief? Any side effects? A pain management physician recommended the branch block and the occipital nerve block. I’ve previously had the nerve block and had no response, meaning no pain relief. I’m concerned about the branch block side effects — I’ve experienced side effects with all previous recommended therapies. As an aside, does anyone ever feel their physician isnt actively listening? Making a recommendation to repeat a procedure that the I’d stated “didn’t provide relief”? It’s frustrating!

  1. I have not had the cervical medial branch block, so am of no help there. Like you, I am not one of the fortunate who responds to occipital nerve blocks. Tried them over 3 years with 3 different people performing them--they just trigger really bad migraines for me.

    I hear you on the difficulty of finding doctors who listen. I've had quite a few over the course of this. Sometimes I feel like each doctor has their "preferred method of treating migraine" and that's it. Doctor one I went to prescribed preventatives and supplements. When my migraine was too freaky for her, she passed me off to doctor two only believed in nerve blocks. Literally, when I sat in his waiting room, he recommended nerve blocks to every patient. When they weren't working for me and we asked if he did anything else, there were no other options. Which was a shame, because otherwise, we liked the doctor. Doctor 3 does botox and now Aimovig. She's somewhat more flexible on prescribing preventatives than the first two, but we still have to go to Doctor 4 and 5 to get orders for my co-morbid condition.

    So to some extent, I've had to shop around, make myself into the guinea pig, see what I responded to, and stick with who was willing to prescribe it.

    1. Hi Texs4,

      I agree! It is frustrating when it feels like our medical team isn't listening. I tended to stay with doctors who aren't helping for way too long. I'm now currently seeing my 5th true migraine/headache expert (a doctor who is board certified headache medicine, which is different than being certified in neurology) and may finally be getting somewhere.

      Is it time to look for another medical provider?
      Keep us posted!

      1. Did you end up having the medial branch block? I’m scheduled for one tomorrow and trying to be hopeful...

        1. Hi Texs4,

          Thank you for sharing your update. I hear you, it's hard to have a procedure if we lack trust in our medical team.

          It can take three, sometimes four rounds of Botox before we see a reduction in our migraine frequency and severity. I started Botox in August 2016 and it took about three rounds.

          Please keep us posted on your progress,

        2. Hi klgm,

          As my doctor say, any day without a migraine attack is a good day!!

          Thanks for the update! Fingers crossed Ajovy works!!


      2. Hello,
        I am new here. I have had every block you can think of and believe it is worth a try. I don’t know what else we can do but try and try again for relief. I wish you the best of luck.

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