Third Occipital Nerve Entrapment

  • Esther RawnerEmail author
  • Andrea M. Trescot


The third occipital nerve (TON) is an under-recognized cause of occipital headaches and can sometimes cause headaches with similar characteristics to migraine headaches. Diagnosis is made by fluoroscopic injections of local anesthetic. Treatment for TON includes medications, nerve injections, cryoneuroablation, radiofrequency lesioning, neuromodulation, and surgical decompression.


Third occipital nerve Occipital neuralgia Cervicogenic headache Flexion-extension headaches 

Supplementary material

Video 19.1

Physical exam of the third occipital nerve (MOV 39208 kb)

Video 19.2

Landmark-guided injection of the third occipital nerve (MOV 39760 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyNorthwest HospitalSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Pain and Headache CenterAnchorageUSA

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