Lesser Occipital Nerve Entrapment

  • Esther RawnerEmail author
  • David M. Irwin
  • Andrea M. Trescot


The lesser occipital nerve (LON) entrapment is an under-recognized cause of cervicogenic and occipital headaches and can sometimes cause headaches with similar characteristics to migraine headaches. Diagnosis is made by physical examination of the neck and injection of local anesthetic. Treatment for LON entrapment includes medications, injections, radiofrequency lesioning, neuromodulation, and surgical decompression.


Occipital nerve Cervicogenic headache Occipital headache Migraine Whiplash Tension headache Occipital stimulation 

Supplementary material

Video 18.1

Physical exam of the lesser occipital nerve (MOV 27443 kb)

Video 18.2

Landmark-guided injection of the lesser occipital nerve (MOV 27888 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Esther Rawner
    • 1
    Email author
  • David M. Irwin
    • 2
  • Andrea M. Trescot
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyNorthwest HospitalSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Pain and Interventional Medicine, NeurosurgeryUPMC Hamot Medical CenterErieUSA
  3. 3.Pain and Headache CenterAnchorageUSA

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