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Medications & Prescription Treatment

cervical medial branch block & occipital nerve block

  • By Texs4

    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!

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  • By GardensatNight

    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.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    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!
    Nancy

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  • By klgm

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

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    • By Texs4

      Sorry for the delayed reply, I’ve had a very challenging few months. With respect to the medial branch block, I decided not to move forward with the procedure. Frankly, my decision was based on confidence and trust, and I didn’t trust the physician. I’ve now moved to my fifth neurologist and decided to try the Botox treatment as I wasn’t experiencing any relief using Aimovig (140 mg, 3 months). I’ve had one Botox treatment and thus far, no changes in my situation. That said I remain hopeful and try to stay positive through my daily struggle.

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    • By klgm

      So sorry nothing has worked. I had the two diagnostic medial branch blocks—first one was miraculous, second-not so much. I haven’t heard a word from the neurosurgeon in over a month! I have no idea if I even qualify for the ablation. So, at this juncture, I’m rrying Ajovy. I’ve Gad some success…still daily headaches, but now I can take my Frova and it goes away—until tomorrow! So, I think that’s progress.

      Best of luck to you. (Botox wasn’t helpful to me 🙁

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    • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

      Hi klgm,

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

      Thanks for the update! Fingers crossed Ajovy works!!

      Nancy

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    • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

      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,
      Nancy

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  • By jannabopp

    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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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi jannabopp,

    Welcome to the Migraine.com discussion forum – we’re glad you found us!!

    Finding relief from migraine disease seems like a frustrating full time job. You’re not alone in your search. Try not to lose hope, there are over 100 medications and supplements that can be used to treat migraine disease and that doesn’t include devices to help prevent migraine attacks. Let me share this link on the various medications available; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-preventives-start/.

    Have you had an opportunity to seek out help from a doctor who is board certified in headache medicine, which is different from being certified in neurology? I’m currently seeing my 5th true expert and finally seeing some results. These article discuss how these expert doctors are different and how to find one; http://migraine.com/blog/how-are-migraine-specialists-different/ and https://migraine.com/blog/really-find-headache-specialist/.

    I hope this helps and hope you have a low pain day!
    Nancy

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