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Peripheral nerve blocks for headache disorders
  1. Linford Fernandes1,
  2. Marc Randall MD FRCP1,2,
  3. Luis Idrovo DMed FRCP1,2
  1. 1 Neurology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK
  2. 2 Headache Service, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK
  1. Correspondence to Luis Idrovo, Consultant Neurologist, Department of Adult Neurology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK; luis.idrovo{at}


Headache is a common neurological referral and a frequent cause for acute hospital admissions. Despite peripheral nerve blocks being widely used in headache and pain services to treat patients with headache disorders, there is no readily accessible resource with instructions for the delivery of peripheral nerve blocks. Here we provide a practical approach for administering peripheral nerve blocks and cover the current evidence base for such procedures in different headache disorders. We provide instructions and an audiovisual guide for administering greater and lesser occipital, supratrochlear, supraorbital and auriculotemporal nerves blocks, and give information on their adverse effects and potential complications. This information will provide a reference for headache practitioners when giving peripheral nerve blocks safely to people with headache.

  • Headache
  • migraine
  • pain
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  • Contributors LF drafted the manuscript, edited and narrated the illustrative videos, and revised the manuscript for intellectual content. MR edited and revised the manuscript for intellectual content. LI produced the illustrative videos, edited and revised the manuscript for intellectual content.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Consent for patient illustration and supplemental videos has been obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned. Externally peer reviewed by Nick Silver, Liverpool, UK.

  • Data availability statement All the content, figures, tables and videos in the manuscript are available to all the authors.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

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