The efficacy of greater occipital nerve block for the treatment of migraine: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2018 Feb;165:129-133. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2017.12.026. Epub 2018 Jan 5.


Greater occipital nerve (GON) block has some potential in treating migraine. We conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the impact of GON block on pain management of migraine. We have systematically searched randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the efficacy of GON block versus placebo for migraine in various databases including PubMed, EMbase, Web of science, EBSCO, and Cochrane library databases. The primary outcome is pain intensity. Meta-analysis is performed using the random-effect model. Seven RCTs are included in the meta-analysis. Compared with control intervention in migraine patients, GON block intervention can significantly reduce pain intensity (Mean difference = -1.24; 95% CI = -1.98 to -0.49; P = 0.001) and analgesic medication consumption (Mean difference = -1.10; 95% CI = -2.07 to -0.14; P = 0.02), but has no remarkable impact on head duration (Mean difference = -6.96; 95% CI = -14.09 to 0.18; P = 0.0.06) and adverse events (RR = 0.93; 95% CI = 0.52 to 1.65; P = 0.80). GON block intervention is able to significantly reduce pain intensity and analgesic medication consumption in migraine patients.

Keywords: Greater occipital nerve block (GON); Meta-analysis; Migraine; Pain management; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cranial Nerves*
  • Humans
  • Migraine Disorders / therapy*
  • Nerve Block / methods*
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome