Headache Nerve Blocks and Injections
Our comprehensive approach to care gives you access to additional headache therapies, like nerve blocks and injections. These therapies quiet stubborn headache and facial pain that does not respond to medications. Henry Ford Health offers a broad range of options, including Botox and trigger point injections. Many patients experience immediate symptom relief after their first injection.
How do injections and nerve blocks for headache work?
Headaches occur when nerves, muscles or blood vessels activate the brain’s pain signals. There are many reasons your body may activate these signals, including inherited neurologic conditions and nerve damage.
Injections and nerve blocks reduce or interfere with your ability to receive pain signals. These therapies provide temporary relief that’s usually limited to a few months. Note that it may take a few treatments to achieve maximum relief.
Headache and nerve blocks at Henry Ford: Why choose us?
Our fellowship-trained headache neurologists offer a level of experience that only comes from treating a high volume of complex headaches. You can count on us for precise therapies using injections and nerve blocks.
Highlights of our program include:
- Convenience: Headache specialists make it easy to receive the care you need. Many injections, including Botox® and certain nerve blocks, are available in our office. These capabilities help you get relief without additional appointments.
- Coordination: We deliver some procedures in conjunction with pain medicine specialists. The team includes board-certified pain medicine doctors who regularly treat patients with complex headaches and facial pain. Find out more about pain management.
- Alternative therapies: Additional services, such as acupuncture or massage, work with headache treatments — like injections — to restore wellness. Same-day services are sometimes available. Learn more about integrative medicine.
Injections and nerve blocks for migraine and other conditions
We help you get relief from stubborn pain due to:
Headache disorders we treat using injections and nerve blocks include:
- Cluster headache intense bouts (clusters) of pain behind the eye on one side of the face
- Hemicrania continua: A type of trigeminal autonomic headache causing days-long headaches along one side of the head with red, teary eyes and a runny nose
- Migraine, an inherited condition in which sensitivity to changes in weather, sleep and more trigger pain attacks
- Paroxysmal hemicrania: Pain attacks on one side behind the eye that may extend to the back of the neck along with nasal congestion and teary eye
- Short-lasting uniform neuralgiform headache (SUNA): Short, sudden episodes of searing or throbbing pain on one side near the eye or temple
Facial pain is typically due to injury or compression of facial nerves. These conditions include:
- Geniculate neuralgia, persistent, dull ache deep in the ear that’s often a complication of shingles (herpes zoster virus)
- Occipital neuralgia and headaches, pain near the skull base that may spread to the neck or shoulders
- Trigeminal neuralgia, one of the more common causes of severe facial pain, symptoms stem from issues with the trigeminal (facial) nerve
- Sphenopalatine ganglion neuralgia, pain near the eyes or in the nasal passages — you may also feel it in your upper jaw
Types of injections and nerve blocks we deliver
Our services include:
Botox® injections for headaches
You receive a series of small injections of botulinum toxin. This natural substance comes from the same bacteria that causes botulism, a type of food poisoning. Purifying this substance transforms it into a medication that’s safe in small doses. There are many types of Botox. We use the correct type and dose for your needs.
Facet joint injections
Facet joints connect individual bones (vertebra) to form your spine. Problems such as arthritis can cause the joints to become swollen and irritated leading to head, neck and back pain. A facet joint injection delivers anti-inflammatories and pain medications to problem joints reducing swelling and pain.
Using imaging guidance, we isolate the nerves causing your symptoms. Specialists then inject numbing (anesthetic) medications to prevent them from transmitting pain signals. The injection site depends on the location of the nerve causing your symptoms. You receive medication to help eliminate sensation during the procedure. Read more about nerve blocks.
Trigger point injections
A trigger point is a knot of muscle fibers that occurs when you overuse or injure muscles. When a trigger point forms, pain may spread other parts of the body, including the head and neck. Trigger point injections deliver medication directly into the knotted muscles. Find out more about trigger point injections.