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OCCIPITAL NERVE STIMULATION

PLANO MIGRAINE DOCTOR

Migraine Pain Relief

The Migraine Institute in Plano, Texas uses stimulation to relieve pain and prevent migraines. Call us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

 

What is Occipital Nerve Stimulation?

The occipital nerves go from the spine through the back of the neck and end at the scalp. The greater occipital nerve goes to the top of the scalp, the area above the ears and the salivary glands. The lesser occipital nerve reaches the back of the scalp and the area behind the ears. The nerves help the brain to receive certain feelings, like soreness, tingling and itchiness. By treating the occipital nerves with stimulation, physicians can prevent and reduce the pain in migraines. Occipital nerve stimulation involves placing a device, or lead, at the base of the skull by the occipital nerves. It is connected to a power source that sends electrical impulses to the lead. The lead then sends electrical impulses to the occipital nerves to disrupt pain signals. The disruption reduces or eliminates pain. A patient can adjust the amount of stimulation or turn the device on or off with a control pad. The impulses may take several months before a patient feels the pain reduce, and the procedure does not work on all migraine sufferers. However, for those who find the procedure successful, it could mean returning to a normal life and doing the activities they love.

 

Risks & Other Factors

Several risks accompany the insertion and use of an occipital nerve stimulator. Bleeding, infection or neurological issues like clumsiness or paralysis can result from the operation. The device itself could also cause problems due to battery failure or battery acid leakage. However, the risks do not occur in most occipital nerve stimulation procedures, and the benefits greatly outweigh the dangers. Each patient undergoes a stimulation trial to ensure the device works well for his or her body and pain condition. Should the patient wish to have the device removed, the doctor can easily take it out. Implanting the device is minimally invasive, and the device remains under the skin so that patients can still participate in sports and other activities.

 

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